为什么感冒时只有一边鼻塞?

丁香园2018-09-16 07:47:41


这里是丁香园「医周一句 · Clinical Pearls」栏目的第 17 期。今天我们要讨论的是感冒时的鼻塞问题。


在我们感冒时,我们会发现鼻塞通常情况下并不是两边一起塞,而是左右轮流塞的。这到底是为什么呢?


最近英国杂志 Science alert 就发表了这样一篇文章,提到了这一有趣的现象,让我们来看看原文是如何描述的:


This process is automated by the aptly named autonomic nervous system, which is the same system that controls many things your body does all by itself such as digestion and heart rate. 


For your nose, this system controls your「nasal cycle」, so that each nostril operates effectively.


The nasal cycle happens, according to the US National Library of Medicine, several times during the day, and is only brought to your attention if your nose is clogged up more than usual. 


In order to open one side of your nose and close the other, your body inflates tissue with blood in the same way that a man gets an erection, except, you know, in your nose.


也就是说,我们的鼻腔受到人体「自主神经系统」的控制,会产生「鼻腔循环」。


其实,在日常生活中,这一循环一直都在工作。只有当你的鼻子堵塞程度超过了平常的状态,例如感冒,你才会注意到。


即使没有感冒鼻塞,我们也主要以一个鼻孔呼吸为主,另一个会稍微关闭一点,仅作为辅助。


鼻腔循环的存在主要是为了提高人类对嗅觉的敏感程度。人类捕捉气味需要较长的时间和较缓慢的空气流动,鼻腔一侧稍微堵塞,有利于更好的让空气停留从而感知气味。


另外,两侧鼻腔不同让大量空气流动出入,也避免造成鼻腔过度干燥的现象,更好的保护了鼻腔抵御外来污染的作用。


因此,下次当你发现只有一个鼻孔能够正常呼吸,千万别紧张,这是人体自我保护和感知气味的一种自然现象。(责任编辑:shamouer)



参考文献:

[1] Josh Hrala. Why does only one side of your nose get blocked at a time? Science Alert. 2016. https://www.sciencealert.com.

[2] Kook Kim J, Hoon Cho J, Jong Jang H, et al. The effect of allergen provocation on the nasal cycle estimated by acoustic rhinometry[J]. Acta oto-laryngologica, 2006, 126(4): 390-395.

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