What Is Nasal Flaring?

Photo of author
Written By Charlotte Miller

Are you curious to know what is nasal flaring? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about nasal flaring in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is nasal flaring?

Nasal flaring is a common but often overlooked physiological response that can provide valuable insights into a person’s health and well-being. This involuntary widening of the nostrils occurs in response to various stimuli and can be an indicator of respiratory distress or other underlying medical conditions. In this blog, we will delve into the phenomenon of nasal flaring, its causes, symptoms, and what it can reveal about an individual’s health.

What Is Nasal Flaring?

Nasal flaring, also known as “dilated nostrils,” refers to the widening or opening of the nostrils during breathing. This phenomenon is a natural and automatic response to increased airflow requirements when an individual is experiencing respiratory distress or struggling to breathe properly. The primary purpose of nasal flaring is to reduce airflow resistance, allowing the person to breathe more effectively.

Causes Of Nasal Flaring:

  1. Respiratory Distress: The most common cause of nasal flaring is respiratory distress, which can be triggered by conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or a blocked airway.
  2. Low Oxygen Levels: When the body senses a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood, as seen in conditions like hypoxia or low blood oxygen (hypoxemia), it may respond by dilating the nostrils to improve oxygen intake.
  3. Physical Exertion: During strenuous physical activity or exercise, the body may require more oxygen, leading to nasal flaring to facilitate increased airflow.
  4. Stress or Anxiety: Emotional stress, anxiety, or a panic attack can cause rapid breathing, leading to nasal flaring as the body attempts to accommodate the increased respiratory demand.

Symptoms And Signs Of Nasal Flaring:

  1. Widening Nostrils: The most apparent symptom of nasal flaring is the noticeable widening of the nostrils during inhalation.
  2. Increased Breathing Rate: Nasal flaring often accompanies rapid, shallow breathing as the body tries to compensate for reduced oxygen levels or increased respiratory effort.
  3. Accessory Muscle Use: In severe cases, individuals may also use their neck and chest muscles to aid in breathing, a condition known as accessory muscle use.
  4. Visible Signs of Distress: Nasal flaring is often a visible sign of distress or discomfort and is commonly observed in infants, children, and adults in emergency medical situations.

Implications Of Nasal Flaring:

  1. Medical Evaluation: Persistent or severe nasal flaring should prompt immediate medical attention. It can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition, particularly in infants and children.
  2. Pediatric Health: Nasal flaring is often observed in infants and young children with respiratory infections or illnesses. Monitoring this symptom can be crucial for early detection and treatment.
  3. Adult Health: In adults, nasal flaring can indicate the presence of acute respiratory conditions or worsening chronic respiratory conditions, necessitating medical evaluation and intervention.


Nasal flaring is a physiological response that plays a vital role in maintaining adequate oxygen intake during times of increased respiratory demand. While it is a natural and adaptive response, it should not be ignored when observed in infants, children, or adults, as it can be indicative of respiratory distress or underlying medical conditions. Recognizing the presence of nasal flaring and seeking prompt medical attention when necessary is essential for ensuring proper care and treatment for individuals experiencing respiratory difficulties.

By visiting Thesbb you can get more knowledge about various topics.


How Do You Stop A Flared Nose?

If the flared nose is due to nasal tip cartilage, a tip rhinoplasty should be considered. In this case, the tip cartilage can be trimmed and reshaped to relieve excess curvature. Reshaping the tip can make the nostril edges straighter, reducing nostril flare.

Does Nasal Flaring Indicate Respiratory Failure?

Summary. Respiratory distress presents as tachypnea, nasal flaring, retractions, and grunting and may progress to respiratory failure if not readily recognized and managed.

How Common Is Flaring Nostrils?

Only 30 percent of humans can flare their nostrils.

What Is The Alae Nasi Movement?

Alae nasi activity may be an important mechanism that facilitates ventilation by reducing nasal resistance, and it may help stabilize the upper airway by preventing the development of large negative pharyngeal pressure during inspiration.

I Have Covered All The Following Queries And Topics In The Above Article

What Is Nasal Flaring In Newborn

Nasal Flaring Is A Sign Of What

What Is Nasal Flaring An Indication Of

Nasal Flaring Baby

Nasal Flaring Causes

Nasal Flaring In Adults

Nasal Flaring Pneumonia

Nasal Flaring In Newborn

Nasal Flaring Symptoms

Baby Flaring Nostrils With Cold

How To Tell If Baby Is Flaring Nostrils

What Is Nasal Flaring

What is the purpose of flaring nostrils