The Nasal Turbinates include three or sometimes four bony shelves projecting from the lateral wall of the nose. These processes are covered by mucous membrane containing large vascular spaces that can enlarge to control the caliber of the nasal cavity, facilitating heat and water exchange, and increasing the surface area of the nose.
Inferior Turbinate The inferior turbinate is a separate bone articulating with the maxilla, lacrimal, and palatine bones on the lateral wall of the nasal cavity. It is the longest and broadest turbinate.
Inferior Meatus The inferior meatus is a horizontal passage inferolateral to the inferior nasal turbinate. It contains the opening of the nasolacrimal duct.
The nasal mucosa becomes swollen and inflamed (rhinitis) during upper respiratory infections and allergic reactions. Swelling of the mucosa occurs readily because of its vascularity. Infections of the nasal cavities may spread to the paranasal sinuses, lacrimal apparatus, and conjunctiva.