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Sinusitis

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis means your sinuses are infected or inflamed. But this gives little indication of the misery and pain this condition can cause. Health experts usually divide sinusitis cases into:

What are sinuses?

Sinuses

When people say, "I'm having a sinus attack," they usually are referring to symptoms of congestion and achiness in one or more of four pairs of cavities, or sinuses, known as paranasal sinuses. These cavities, located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding the nose, include:

Each sinus has an opening into the nose for the free exchange of air and mucus, and each is joined with the nasal passages by a continuous mucous membrane lining. Therefore, anything that causes a swelling in the nose—an infection, an allergic reaction, or another type of immune reaction—also can affect your sinuses.

Air trapped within a blocked sinus, along with pus or other secretions (liquid material) may cause pressure on the sinus wall. The result is the sometimes intense pain of a sinus attack. Similarly, when air is prevented from entering a paranasal sinus by a swollen membrane at the opening, a vacuum can be created that also causes pain.


Reference: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Last updated April 20, 2017