Knowing …the Nose!

Knowing …the Nose!

“Knowing …the Nose!”    Jean-Raymond Spénard MD FRCS(C)

We get up every day and there it is right in front of us…our nose!  We don’t think  about it that much unless we have a cold or allergies and it’s blocked or irritated, or it gets hurt or broken then we  become more aware of it. But for the most part, – day in and day out – one of our most important body parts often goes unnoticed!

It’s interesting to note that the nose features prominently in literature, theatre, history and pop culture. The play “Cyrano de Bergerac” was written in 1897 by Edmund Rostand that featured the nose in a starring role. “Cyrano”, the story of a cadet (a nobleman serving as a soldier) in the French Army, is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents. In addition to being a remarkable duelist, he is a gifted, joyful poet and a musician. However, he has an extremely large nose, which
is the reason for his own self-doubt.  Actor Steve Martin took the classic story and turned into the 1987 comedy film “Roxanne”.

Then, there is the famous “Pinocchio”, created by Italian writer Carlo Collodi in 1183. This is a whimsical children’s story about a puppet created by a woodcarver, who longed to have a child of his own.  The tale later became a famous “Disney” cartoon feature film about the little puppet who longed to become a real boy.  He had a nose that would grow longer every time he told a lie.

In the popular 1960’s/70’s television sitcom “Bewitched” about a modern-day witch (starring actress Elizabeth Montgomery) the lead character Samantha Stephens twitches her nose to create a magical spell.  And one of the most beloved “Sesame Street” characters “Gonzo” is infamous for his prominent proboscis.

In many cultures the nose takes on a great deal of significance – In New Zealand, nose pressing (“hongi“) is a traditional greeting amongst Maori people. And it’s found in many famous quotes such as: “Cutting off your nose, to spite your face”, “Winning by a nose”, “as plain as nose on your face” or “Looking down your nose”. (This means to disapprove of something)

The nose is a very important. Obviously, we breathe through it and we smell with it. The sense of smell is very important – warning us of danger ( smelling smoke from fires, or the odor of gasoline or dangerous chemicals) It is also the source of a great deal of pleasure – whether it is the sharp aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the comforting smell hot bread just out of the oven or the heady scent of a garden of roses.  A smell can also bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling.  It’s sometimes called the “emotional brain ” because smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.

These days – nose piercing is prominent in many cultures.  And of course any damage to the nose can cause a great deal of problems.  From frost bite, to a deviated septum to a broken nose – the reduced ability to use an important sense or the displeasure of one’s appearance because of an injury – are things to be taken seriously. Also sometimes, we are just not happy with the nose we are born with.

As a doctor that specializes in treating both nasal obstruction and esthetic nose surgery – Rhinoplasty (also known in common parlance as a “nose job”) – I am here to help you. Whether it’s a medical problem or you are looking for a natural looking change, we can get together to discuss the best surgical solution for you.

It’s time to give the importance of your nose some consideration, and think about doing something that could improve your health or change your appearance in a way that would give you more self-confidence.  Or maybe both!

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