J Rhinol.  1999 Nov;6(2):126-130.

Nasal Sensation of Airflow: Measurement, Reproducibility and Regional Differences

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Taejon, Korea. ysrha@hanbat.chungnam.ac.kr


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although airflow sensation is believed to have a certain role in the subjective sensation of nasal patency, there are few studies that quantify and assess the sensation of nasal airflow. We designed an apparatus that delivers a pulsing jet of air to measure nasal airflow sensitivity. The aims of this study are to map out the airflow sensitivity of the nose, to evaluate the effect of decongestant on airflow sensitivity and to assess reproducibility.
The test sites were stimulated with a pulsing jet of air at gradually increasing velocities, and the minimum velocity at which the subject could detect the tactile sensation was recorded. The threshold velocities after phenylephrine spray were also measured and compared with the pre-decongestant values. The threshold velocities were obtained on two separate occasions to assess reproducibility.
The nasal vestibule was more sensitive than the nasal mucosa to airflow, and the most sensitive area in the proper nasal cavity was the anterior end of the inferior turbinate. Sensitivity was not affected by decongestant spray. There was strong agreement between the first and second measurement values.
Our method of measuring airflow sensitivity is believed to be useful in assesssing nasal airflow sensation.


Nose; Airflow sensation
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