Heat and Moisture Transport in the Nasal Cavity
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Bahr, Douglas; Tyler, John Poe; Weinert, Peter; Egan, John
The intake of air into the lungs is obviously a vital process for the survival of humans, and the conditioning of this air from ambient to alveolar is a necessity accomplished primarily in the nasal cavity. The human nose is capable of taking in air of nearly all conditions (hot, cold, dry, moist) and properly maintaining the required equilibrium. Increased awareness of nasal diseases, the use of drugs to aid in breathing, and surgeries (cosmetic and medical) have placed a premium on the understanding of the dynamics of the heat and water vapor transport phenomenon. This report takes a two-dimensional cross section and models flow past the inferior turbinate, producing velocity, temperature and water vapor profiles for normal breathing conditions and shows a control when the turbinate is not present. The results show that the turbinate (concha) is vital for processing the air to alveolar conditions. The results obtained at the exit match those in previous literature -- nearly saturated and near body temperature air leaves the cavity when the concha is present. However, the air is considerably closer to ambient conditions when turbinate is not present.
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