Sinus Anatomy: What You Need to Know

An in-depth understanding of the sinus anatomy will aid us in understanding how it operates and how to treat it in cases of an infection.

What is a Sinus?

It is also known as nasal or air cavities in the nose. Sinus itself is a Latin term for “bosom”, “curve”, “pocket” or “bay”. It is a cavity that can be found in any organ, or can be described as an abnormal passage or cavity which may be caused by any type of destruction to the tissue or organ.

Every person has four paired sinus or cavities that can be found within the skull or cranial bone. These said sinuses are very important and play vital functions. If these sinuses continue to suffer from infections and if left untreated can really be dangerous to one’s health and may lead to complications.

Sinus Anatomy: What You Need to KnowThere are about 60 sinuses spread in the body.

Sinus Anatomy: Sinuses in the Body

  • Carotid sinus
  • Cavernous
  • Confluence of sinuses
  • Coronary sinus
  • Dural venous sinuses
  • Ethmoid
  • Frontal
  • Inferior petrosal
  • Inferior sagittal
  • Maxillary
  • Medullary sinuses
  • Occipital
  • Paranasal sinuses
  • Renal sinus
  • Sigmoid
  • Sphenoid
  • Straight
  • Subcapsular sinus
  • Superior petrosal
  • Superior sagittal
  • Trabecular sinuses
  • Transverse

Paranasal sinuses: One of the most important cavities in the sinus anatomy

The shape and size in sinuses may differ in each person. The lining of our nasal organ or nose is the front-liner against any disease, pollutants and other microorganism.

What are the four so-called paired sinuses in one’s body?

  • Sphenoid sinuses: those that are behind the eyes
  • Maxillary sinus cavities: cheekbone area
  • Frontal sinus cavities: forehead region
  • Ethmoid sinus cavities: between the eyes.

The Sphenoid Sinuses

It is made up of more than one sinuses which can be found behind the nose’s bridge area. These types of sinueses drain far and deep into the back portion of the nasal cavity.

The Maxillary Sinuses:

These sinuses drain or flow into the nasal cavity’s middle portion. These are usually found high up on the cavity wall and are triangular in shape.

The Frontal Sinuses

These may not be present in some people, but if they do these are located at the frontal bone. These can be fully-grown by the time one reaches the age of 8 since these are not present at birth.

The Ethmoid Sinuses:

It has approximately 6-12 thin-walled cavities which are found in either the posterior, middle or anterior groups. These can be found from the rear to the nasal cavity.

The sinus lining is also an important part of the sinus anatomy. It is composed of basal cells, goblet cells and epithelium cells. It is also rich in immune cells such as mat cells and lymphocytes. It acts as a barrier that keeps bacteria at bay. These also keep the viruses from getting too comfortable in the sinus lining, and help or assist the white blood cells in killing the harmful invaders from taking control of your sinus and infecting it.

The cilia or epithelial cells are continuously working to keep all those foreign invaders from doing damage to your nasal cavity and infecting the sinus. To better protect he cilia of our nose it is important that these be shielded off against toxins, pollutants, allergens and humidity.

Sinus Anatomy and its Importance

The sinus anatomy is complicated and must be understood to address whatever problems might get associated with it. Once it is affected with an infection, it may become more complicated when not taken seriously by the sufferer.

Functions of sinuses

  • Moistening and Heating incoming air
  • Responsible for making the frontal area of the skull lighter
  • Makes the voice more significant
  • Protects the teeth and eyes from sudden temperature changes
  • Provide a crease zone for facial blows

How infections can affect sinus anatomy

Sinusitis can prove to be really irritating, and if left untreated life threatening. Complications from untreated sinuses can be anything from meningitis, abscesses or even death. Signs of a sinus infection include inflammation of the air cavities. When this occurs there is internal pressure in the nasal congestion, making the infection worst. There are anaerobes or microorganisms that can aggravate the problem since these do not need oxygen to breath. As a result there will be lingering mucus build-up making it harder for the patient to breath.

Usually sinusitis can be cleared or it is easy to get rid of it once it is treated early. Anything can trigger an attack such as allergens, pollutants and toxins. It can last for three weeks or ten to twenty episodes in a month depending on the severity of the sinusitis. If you are lucky you can treat the condition with antibiotics, lots of rest, home remedies and a balanced diet, and lots of fluid intake to flush out the toxins. However there might be instances that surgery is the only viable option for those who have recurring problems with the sinus infection.

Sinus anatomy: Natural defense against bacteria and other harmful microorganisms

Sinuses are considered as the first line in our body’s line of natural defenses. They bar germs, viruses and bacteria from making its way into the body. These are responsible for killing and prevent foreign viruses from making massive damage into the body. However, once the lining is affected it will become inflamed and infected, causing swelling and other health problems associated with a sinus infection.

Now that you fully understand the sinus anatomy and its vital function for your body’s health and immune system you will know how to adopt preventive measures from ever catching a sinusitis problem. Say goodbye to migraines, flu’s and colds that can cause an infection. If you believe you are suffering from a sinus infection, take it seriously and consult a doctor immediately. This condition, although not deadly in itself, may cause you serious health problems in the future if left untreated. Talk to a doctor today so he or she can explain the condition with you.

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