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The mechanism of nasal airflow sensation is poorly understood. This study aimed to examine the role of nasal mucosal temperature change in the subjective perception of nasal patency and the methods by which it can be quantified. Medline and PubMed database searches were performed to retrieve literature relevant to the topic. The primary mechanism producing the sensation of nasal patency is thought to be the activation of transient receptor potential melastatin family member 8 ('TRPM8'), a thermoreceptor that is activated by nasal mucosal cooling. Computational fluid dynamics studies have demonstrated that increased airflow and heat flux are correlated with better patient-reported outcome measure scores. Similarly, physical measurements of the nasal cavity using temperature probes have shown a correlation between lower nasal mucosal temperatures and better patient-reported outcome measure scores. Nasal mucosal temperature change may be correlated with the perception of improved nasal patency. Future research should quantify the impact of mucosal cooling on the perception of nasal airway obstruction.


R Tjahjono, N Singh. Correlation between nasal mucosal temperature change and the perception of nasal patency: a literature review. The Journal of laryngology and otology. 2021 Feb;135(2):104-109

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PMID: 33612130

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