GENERAL ARTICLES

NOSE SIR!

Rowell, M. D. April 1 1934
GENERAL ARTICLES

NOSE SIR!

Rowell, M. D. April 1 1934

NOSE SIR!

Rowell, M. D.

A GOOD NOSE may well be preferred to great riches. If you have a poor nose and great riches, the doctors may acquire your wealth for services rendered and you will wish you had asked the stork for a good nose in the first place.

What, you may well ask, is a good nose? That’s simple. First of all, the nose must be big enough. Miniatures don’t qualify. There must be plenty of room for breathing. The nose must be an efficient but not a noisy worker. Further-

more, it should not be placed in the rôle of a useless bystander by the presence of such baneful influences as overlarge tonsils and adenoids, which prevent good airway no matter how superb the nose itself may Ire.

Noses attain their eminence by growth. A baby’s nose is inconsequential. But don’t worry about that. As other growth is attained, the nose will follow as closely as Mary’s lamb. When we come of age, the nose, like the rest of the body, ceases for all practical purposes its physical growth.

Most of us put noses to general usesmelling, for example. So do animals. A dog’s world is mainly a collection of smells. Smell is considered the most important of all senses to him and many other animals. In man, it is the most delicate of the senses; one authority stating that smell is twenty thousand times as keen as sight.

To primitive man, smell was a wonderful thing for escaping enemies and finding food. And modem man, when through this sense alone he escapes too close proximity to a meandering and perhaps unfriendly wood pussy, values his nose, though hating it as well for the moment. If you close your nose and eyes you cannot tell an onion from an apple. And how does fcxxl taste when your nose is plugged with a cold? It doesn’t!

Because we smell food before we touch it, and because much that we have considered taste is actually smell anyway, think of how our sense of smell tells the various secretory organs in our bodies to get ready to provide digestive juices. Interestingly enough, the first outstanding studies of digestion were made on Alexis St. Martin, a French Canadian who got in front of the business end of a shotgun and whose enormous wound failed to heal in a small opening which led to the stomach. An army surgeon studied his digestion with great care; the result being the publication, a hundred years ago, of the book on which all modem studies of digestion are based.

No wonder we can smell. Along the partition between the two halves of the nose and along the

upper shelf or turbinate bone at the side, lie little nerve endings, covering an area in each nostril corresponding to about 250 square millimetres. Erom here the nerve trunks pass through a many-holed grating into the skull, and thence to the brain for interpretation and action. This power of smell seems to be dulled somewhat by tobacco. Some would claim this is not too great a disadvantage—at times anyway.

Breathe Nose-treated Air

TEIE NOSE, in addition to setting up as a smeller, is about the best little air conditioner in the business. That is why breathing through our noses is preferable. Most anything can wander into the mouth, but invasion of the nose is about as ineffective as a suspicious looking tourist’s efforts to sneak a few things past the customs officers at the border—only the customs officers are more polite about their official activities and don’t go in for mass murder, which is a little trick that the nose helps perform on evilintentioned bacteria. Little hairs act as catchers, and the mucous membrane or wall paper of the inside of the nose is supposed to have a secretion that just naturally makes the bacteria turn up their toes. The air, therefore, is purified by the nose. Evidence? Why does the inside of a child’s nose get so dirty if he fails to clean it out pretty often? Or look at your own handkerchief after a trip through the dust of the roads or a big city.

The temperature of the air is treated too. Of course, no such cooling attachment as is seen in the air-conditioning systems of modern buildings is found in the nose which the stork provides. But the nose will and does warm the air, as you can tell for yourself by breathing frosty air directly through the mouth and comparing your discomfort or even cough with the happier sensation you get through nosetreated air, even when the nose itself tingles a bit with the cold of the intaken atmosphere.

The nose, combined with the rest of the breathing apparatus, keeps the air in motion and regulates the amount. One job—that of moistening air as needed—it refers to a considerable extent to our old friends the tonsils, which are in part glorified sponges working like the sponge you put in a cigar box to keep the contents moist.

On occasion, it is customary to help the nose with its job. The first assistance we render is blowing it.

Fashions in Nose Blowing

BLOWING the nose is always a matter involving both personal pride and controversy. You cannot, most assuredly, do justice by any nose with those postage-stamp things which ladies carry as part of their ornamental armament when on a social excursion.

Twenty years ago it was no mean social accomplishment to blow the nose with a blast that sounded like the Mauretania whistling for a pilot. But the old-time blasters are gone, along with those others who possessed a sneeze which started at the feet, worked upward in a crescendo, came to a climax when windowpanes began to crack, and ended with a lusty “God bless us” from the assembled company.

Today we argue about whether to blow the nose quietly but efficiently with one or both sides of the nose open. The best authorities advise blowing with both sides open. In this way your blast does not open the passages from the throat to the ear, and send sundry things up that tube. Furthermore, the ear drums, subjected to one-side pressure, feel as if someone were trying to push them out into the ojien air—a feeling that is avoided with the two-funnelopen method.

Another way we try to help the nose is by dosing it. Dosing the nose is a great indoor sjx)rt. But if Mother Nature, as reputed, has a protective mechanism in the nose that is ample for ordinary occasions, why give the old lady the drug habit? On the other hand, if you feel a cold starting, go to it, according to the best advice your doctor can provide. Goodness knows, you can’t escape cold remedies. There is one available on every comer and everyone has his or her favorite, varying from vitamins to baking soda.

Colds are. of course, the nose’s hobby. The classic expression “Hi ab a gold; awl sduffed hup,” is merely the influence ujxrn sp>eech of a half-plugged nose. When one has a cold, the mucous lining of the nose thickens. Continued on page 78

Starts on page 8

weeps, becomes porky. It does the same trick in hay fever, rose fever and other seasonal sneezifications and seepages. The relief from the actual or synthetic adrenalin type of compound as prescribed in many sprays, or from menthol in cough drops or spray, is from shrinking this mucous membrane to a more normal thickness, thus affording more normal airway for breathing.

How to Cure Nosebleed

XTOSES insist on bleeding. The application of a fist to a nose is one common cause. In adults, there are a few less strenuous ones. Why shouldn’t the nose bleed with considerable ease and joy? Just as it is richly supplied with nerves, so it is a regular railroad terminus for small blood vessels. Many of these meet at a point on the nose partition best described as just within easy picking distance.

You can, if your skull is fractured, have a first-class nosebleed. But most people carefully avoid such a calamity for themselves and their children. Granting other causes, the story I get on nosebleeds is commonly as follows:

A cold, almost cured. Inside of the nose dry. Scabs form. And there is sure to be a scab right over that junction of the little blood vessels. Little W illie, annoyed at his nose, inserts the first finger of the more convenient hand to remove a scab or two. Off comes the key scab. Mother screams and rushes Willie to the washbowl. Parking him there, she seizes some ice-cold object and applies it to the back of his neck. And the cure is usually perfect.

But it takes only a few seconds for the blood, w hen exposed outside the vessels, to coagulate at the bleeding point, form a cement-like clot and seal up the wound. And so. might one suspect that a salad bowl or a sofa pillow would be as effective as the ice?

The main thing about nosebleeds is that if they do not stop in a very short time in terms of minutes, the doctor had better try one of the tricks he has up his sleeve, varying from the use of chemicals to {Kicking.

And now to do full justice to one of the nose’s greatest drawbacks the deviated septum, the nasal partition that strayed, for some reason, from the straight and narrow path, the prodigal partition as it were.

This partition between the two sides of

the nose is a thin wall of cartilage or gristle, bone, and mucous membrane or nasal wall paper. The lower end of this lies in a little slot reminiscent of the slide that holds the wooden wall between your berth and the next ones in an old-fashioned sleeping car.

Nature never seems to get this partition into just the right place. Certainly I have rarely seen a child who did not have a mild, unimportant degree of deviated septum. Most children seem to outgrow it.

In my annual examination of a group of men whose lives are devoted to teaching the young idea how* to shoot (and box and indulge in various sports, as well as develop sterling characters) I expect to find it as often as I would expect to find a ranch brand on the southwest upper comer of a range horse. The cause is usually a blow—from the left side, since the other fellow is right-handed. The partition is knocked out of the slot, and unless returned very soon—as is sometimes possible by a simple though skilled operation under an anaesthetic—it remains to make trouble if it interferes with the airway.

If there is real trouble with the airway and colds are caught because of this abnormality, then an operation gives comfort by restoring the ability to breathe properly. Otherwise, we believe that the airway had better be left alone. With a growing child, to operate would mean possible destruction of the growing spots in the nose and, while the child might have a straight partition, he would be sentenced to something as bad as a deviation, namely a miniature nose for life, a nose that failed to grow.

Leave Well Enough Alone

■^rOSES, of course, are rebuilt, chiefly for these deviated septums but sometimes for beautification. If you have a nose that meets the standards for efficient work, however, why bother about the rest? Your present proboscis may be more attractive and add more to your personality than you suspected. It has grown with you. Its size or shape or both may be a proud family inheritance. Therefore, may I humbly suggest, if anyone wants to put a lot of crazy improvements on it, stand up to your full height, elevate the nostrils to an angle of forty-five degrees, stare your adviser in the eyes till his own drop in shame, pound your chest, and state in terms as firm as the foundations of the Rockies; “Nozir!”

Russia's Giant Airplane

A LARGE airplane, capable of carrying 128 passengers, as well as the pilots and other members of the crew, has recently been constructed in Kharkov, and is undergoing a series of test flights, according to the Monthly Review of the Moscow Narodny Bank.

The giant airplane, known as K 7, has sixteen compartments, with four sleeping berths in each. Each berth is convertible into two seats for day flying, thus bringing the total accommodation to 128.

In the centre of the machine there is a cabin furnished with sofas and other com-

forts and containing a bar. There is also a promenade in the middle of each wing where passengers will be able to take a walk and look down upon the countryside. The wings as well as the body of the airplane have been used for accommodation purposes.

The plane, which is mainly of steel, was built entirely of Soviet material, and includes a number of innovations. It was designed by K. A. Kalinin, director and chief designing engineer of the Kharkov Aviation Plant, who is one of the outstanding Soviet airplane experts, and designer of a series of aircraft. —View Pjints.