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FYI: What’s the Point of Nose Hair?

To strain out the nasty stuff we breathe in. It’s like an air filter in your house, says Justin Turner, an otolaryngologist (short, sort of, for otorhinolaryngologist, Greek for ear (oto), nose (rhino), and throat (laryng)) at Stanford University. Nose hairs trap dirt, viruses, bacteria and toxins until we blow them out, sneeze, or swallow.

Denser nose hair can be an advantage. Scientists at Hacettepe University School of Medicine in Turkey found that patients with sparse nose hairs were nearly three times as likely to suffer from asthma as those with more-hirsute nostrils.

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