The Sinuses: 5 Things You Should Know About Them

The sinuses are responsible for moisturizing and heating the air we breathe, as well as producing mucus to prevent bacteria from entering.
The sinuses: 5 things you should know about them

The sinuses are cavities full of air located in the bones of the skull. They have many functions, as they help us breathe, smell, and even regulate our body temperature.

It is often the case that we do not notice certain parts of our body until a problem, disease or change occurs.

Anyone who has had sinusitis, for example, will no doubt know exactly where their sinuses are.

These structures produce a type of fluid to hold on to and protect us from certain types of bacteria. What often happens is that excess mucus ends up clogging the cavities and causing inflammation.

It is a common and annoying situation that many millions of people have experienced, and it is one of the medical conditions that affects these delicate structures of our anatomy. Today we will tell you more about them.

1. How many sinuses do you have?

We have a total of 8 sinuses, 4 on each side of the nose. Let’s look at some interesting facts about them.

Maxillary sinuses ( sinus maxillares ):

  • The maxillary sinuses are the largest sinuses. It has a pyramidal shape and an approximate capacity of 15 ml.
  • When we are born, they are very small, and it is not until after 8 or 9 years that they expand and go down from the top of the nose to the bottom.

Forehead sinuses ( sinus frontales ):

  • They are approx. 3 cm wide, and 2.5 cm long, and are two cavities separated by our interfrontal septum.
  • They are connected to the trigeminal nerve, and because of that it is one of the most painful to have inflammation in.

The syllable cells ( sinus ethmoidales ):

  • This sinus is actually a set of ethmoidal cells, like small labyrinths that form next to the tibia.

Wedge sinuses ( sinus sphenoidales ):

  • These sinuses are not fully developed until we are around 14 years old.
  • They have a capacity of approx. 7.5 ml.

2. What is inside the sinuses?

Lady with sinusitis

In the beginning we said that there is only air in these cavities.

In fresh and non-inflamed sinuses, it will mostly be air. However, these areas are not completely empty.

  • The nasal and paranasal sinuses are lined with a type of respiratory mucus.
  • This mucus is formed by a type of epithelium.
  • It is a very thin layer of mucous cells that is attached to bones or nearby cartilage.
  • The mucus serves many purposes: for example, it has the purpose of moisturizing and warming air before it enters the body.

In turn, these cells also produce mucus to protect us from possible bacteria and foreign elements, and stop them from entering the body.

3. Why do sinuses become inflamed?

When we catch a cold, or when we have allergic reactions, there is an excessive growth of bacteria in the paranasal sinuses that causes an infection.

Most infections of the sinuses are viral and disappear on their own after a short time. Sometimes, however, the infections get worse, creating 3 problems:

Acute sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is very common and associated with colds.

If it is caused by a virus, it will heal within a few days, but if it is a bacterial infection, acute sinusitis can last up to four weeks.

Subacute sinusitis

In this case, the problem is more serious, and much more annoying. It has a lot to do with allergies, and can last for two to three months.

It is usually accompanied by:

  • Constantly slim
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is very devastating for the person suffering from it. It can last for more than 3 months and can often end up with a surgical procedure.

Lady pinching her nose

4. Why is someone more prone to inflammation of the sinuses?

All of us, at any time, can suffer from sinusitis. However, there are certain medical conditions and risk factors that may increase this possibility.

Let’s take a look at them.

  • Septumperforation
  • Nasal polyps
  • Working in an environment with unclean air
  • Living in a city with a lot of pollution
  • Living in a house with a lot of moisture and mold
  • Dental infections can lead to inflammation of the sinuses
  • Also, be careful if you have a weak immune system
  • If you smoke, it is also common to suffer from sinusitis

5. How to get rid of sinusitis?

If an inflammation lasts more than two weeks, you should see a doctor.

Once you have a good diagnosis and a specific medical and pharmacological treatment, there are some simple homemade preparations that will help.

Here are some quick examples:

  • Evaporation with salt water
  • Infusion and steam with eucalyptus
  • Infusion and and steam with rosemary
  • Radish and chopped onion
  • Infusion of ginger and honey
  • Last but not least, naps and breaks will help strengthen your immune system so that your body can cope with the infection itself.

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