Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Table of Contents
- Sinus infection or sinusitis facts
- What is a sinus?
- What is a sinus infection or sinusitis?
- What causes sinus infections or sinusitis?
- What are the types of sinusitis?
- 18 signs and symptoms of sinus infection or sinusitis
- How is sinus infection or sinusitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for sinus infection or sinusitis (antibiotics)?
- What is the treatment for sinus infection or sinusitis (decongestants and nasal sprays)? (Part 2)
- What home remedies help soothe sinus infection or sinusitis symptoms?
- What are complications of sinus infection or sinusitis?
- Can sinus infection or sinusitis be prevented?
What is a sinus?
A sinus is a hollow, air-filled cavity. For the purposes of this article, a sinus will referred to those hollow cavities that are in the skull and connected to the nasal airway by a narrow hole in the bone (ostium). Normally all are open to the nasal airway through an ostium. Humans have four pair of these cavities each referred to as the:
- frontal sinus (in forehead),
- maxillary sinus (behind cheeks),
- ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes), and
- sphenoid sinus (deep behind the ethmoids).
The four pair of sinuses are often described as a unit and termed the "paranasal sinuses." The cells of the inner lining of each sinus are mucus-secreting cells, epithelial cells and some cells that are part of the immune system (macrophages, lymphocytes, and eosinophils).
Functions of the sinuses include humidifying and warming inspired air, insulation of surrounding structures (eyes, nerves), increasing voice resonance, and as buffers against facial trauma. The sinuses decrease the weight of the skull. If the inflammation hinders the clearance of mucous or blocks the natural ostium, the inflammation may progress into a bacterial infection. Continue Reading