Sinuses are cavities in bones and other tissues. There are a few in the human body, the sinuses dealt with here are located in the face, around the nasal cavity. These are called the paranasal sinuses. The exact function of the paranasal sinuses is debated, proposed functions include:
- Reducing the overall weight of the front of skull;
- Acting as a buffer against facial trauma;
- Insulating delicate structures (such as dental roots) from the temperature fluctuations of the nasal cavity;
- Increasing the resonance of the voice;
- Regulation of intranasal pressure;
- Immunological defence;
- Heating and humidifying inhaled air.
The paranasal sinuses consist of four pairs of cavities. These are divided into four groups:
This is the largest sinus in the face. The maxillary sinus is located below the eyes on the maxillary bone. This sinus is the first to develop and is filled with fluid at birth. It develops in two main stages and is generally developed by the age of twelve.
This sinus is located above the eyes, in the frontal bone. The frontal sinus begins to develop after the age of two and is generally fully developed by late teens.
Located in the sphenoid bone, in the centre of the head, the sphenoid sinus is generally developed by late teens.
The ethmoid sinus continues to develop until about the age of twelve. It is located between the eyes in the ethmoid bone.
Sinusitis is an upper respiratory infection. Normally the sinuses swell and become inflamed, causing pain. Sometimes the sinuses can dry out and crack, allowing irritants in, causing inflammation.
This can be treated to ease the inflammation and pain. Treatments can include:
- Paracetamol or Ibuprofen;
- Holding a warm pack to the face;
- Nasal decongestants;
- Cleaning the inside of the nose with a saline solution.
Another treatment can be Serrapeptase. As this enzyme breaks down proteins it is believed to break down inflammation, thereby reducing pain and swelling. Although there is no medical proof, Serrapeptase is a popular alternative medicine.
However, ensure you go to you doctor if symptoms persist or get worse!