Nasal conchae warm, humidify, filter and direct air in the nasal passages. The conchae, which are also called turbinates, consist of bones, tissues and vessels.
The nasal concha system includes three pairs of spongy bones, the superior, the middle and the inferior conchae, that direct the flow of air in a steady pattern over a large area of tissues that warm and humidify the air before it enters the lungs. The humidifying function also improves the sense of smell. Cilia extend from the tissues and filter impurities out of the air. The tissues are rich in lymphatic vessels and are covered in a mucus membrane to provide an initial defense against germs that are present in the air.