Nasal airflow in health and disease

Acta Otolaryngol. 2000 Aug;120(5):580-95. doi: 10.1080/000164800750000388.


This review examines our present understanding of the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology of nasal airflow. The main aim of the review is to discuss the basic scientific and clinical knowledge that is essential for a proper understanding of the usefulness of measurements of nasal airflow in the clinical practice of rhinology. The review concludes with a discussion of the measurement of nasal airflow to assess the efficacy of surgery in the treatment of nasal obstruction. Areas covered by the review include: influence of nasal blood vessels on nasal airflow; nasal valve and control of nasal airflow; autonomic control of nasal airflow; normal nasal airflow; nasal cycle; central control of nasal airflow; effect of changes in posture on nasal airflow; effect of exercise on nasal airflow; effect of hyperventilation and rebreathing on nasal airflow; nasal airflow in animals; cerebral effects of nasal airflow; sensation of nasal airflow; sympathomimetics and sympatholytics; histamine and antihistamines; bradykinin; and corticosteroids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Air*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology
  • Bradykinin / metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation
  • Manometry / methods*
  • Nasal Cavity / blood supply
  • Nasal Cavity / metabolism
  • Nasal Cavity / physiology*
  • Nasal Septum / blood supply
  • Nasal Septum / metabolism
  • Nasal Septum / physiology
  • Steroids
  • Sympathomimetics / pharmacokinetics
  • Turbinates / blood supply
  • Turbinates / metabolism
  • Turbinates / physiology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Steroids
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Bradykinin