Did you ever wish you wouldn’t have sinuses to worry about? Or, perhaps, asked yourself: What are these sinuses good for besides creating all this watery or thick stuff? If you did you are one of us. These are questions every person living on the planet has asked herself or himself more than once. So, let’s take a brief look and see what they are like, what they are there for and what we can do to keep them from annoying us.
Let’s start by describing them. They are four pairs of cavities or hallow places in the head bones. Their names and locations follow:
- The frontal sinuses, they are located in the bones over the eyes, in the forehead
- The ethmoid sinuses, which are marvelous honeycomb like labyrinth and are situated between the eyes
- The sphenoid sinuses, located behind the eyes and nose, close to the center of the head
- The maxillary sinuses are under the the eyes and the cheekbones area
But, what are they, really, for? They perform several important functions:
They produce mucus, which flows from the sinuses into the nasal cavity–which acts like a corridor interconnecting the sinuses. Through this nasal corridor flows the mucus. Its function is to trap bacteria, pollutants, dust, viruses, etc., from the air as it goes through this corridor, before they reach vital organs such as the bronchi, lungs, etc. In others words, the sinuses and their mucus producing membranes are like a filtering system for the air going through. Without this marvelous filter–though at times irritating if we neglect it–we keep our breathing mechanism functioning well
Without the resonance the sinus gives to the voice–by virtue of the air filled chambers that the sinuses become–our voice would sound as if we would be talking through the nose.
Head weight lessening
It is nice that we do not have to carry the extra weight that the head would have were it not for the fact that the sinus cavities, being hallow, are just filled with air and not additional bone mass.
Air warmer and humidifier
The sinuses provide the humidity and warmth the air needs before it reaches the rest of our breathing apparatus.
Protectors of the brain and eyes
Were the skull to receive a severe blow the sinuses would function as a crumpling area to protect the brain and the eyes. Much the same as a delicate item in a box is protected during shipping by the packaging material that yields to absorb a blow to the box.
When the air is too dry and the sinus membranes are not able to sufficiently moisten the membranes lining them they will swell. If this condition is allowed to exist for long they will eventually block the sinus openings to the nasal corridor. The mucus will not flow, but stagnate and a bacterial infection will very likely follow. When the air is very dry, especially at night while sleeping it is good, therefore, to keep a humidifier going to help maintain our sinuses healthy.