Sinus Cavity Anatomy in a Nutshell

Posted in Sinus Cavities

Our nose and sinus are closely related. We cannot imagine ourselves functioning perfectly without the other. We can’t breathe and smell properly if the sinus is not in a tip top condition.

Our sinus makes our head lighter in more ways than we can ever imagine. It conditions the air that we receive from our nose before it proceeds to the other parts of our respiratory tract. Since our internal organs are quite sensitive, it is important that the air passing through it is cooled to within one degree of our body temperature.

It is also vital that the air that goes through our respiratory system is free from any foreign matter such as dust and other particulate matter. Apart from that, our sinus cavity also has the ability to reduce the weight of the skull and insulate it. It also add resonance to the voice. Our sinus cavity also protects our eyes, brains, and other internal organs near it.

All of these wonderful functions are performed by our sinus! If our sinus is that important then we should know how we should take care of it. The road to discovering the needs of our sinus is by looking through its anatomy.

The anatomy of our sinus cavity can be compared to canal systems. It is a series of connected hollow cavities in our skull. There are many sinuses in our body. Some are big which is around an inch across, while others are smaller. There are four identified pairs of paranasal sinuses in the human body. We have the maxillary sinuses, also called the antra of Highmore, which is the largest of them all. It is located near our cheekbones and under our eyes. We also have the frontal sinuses which is located in the lower and center part of our forehead and above our eyes.

Another sinus cavity is the ethmoid sinuses. It is also called as the ethmoid labyrinth.  This is the most famous sinus which is located between our eyes at our nasal bridge or the nose. And finally, we have the sphenoid sinuses which can be found in the center of our skull behind our eyes and nose.

Like what we have mentioned earlier, these four paranasal sinuses are are hollow and air filled cavities. It is lined with soft and pink tissues called the mucusa. The ethmoid cavity of our sinus is already present at birth while the format develops on our second year of life. The sphenoid comes into existence at our third year and in some cases, the frontal sinuses do not develop.

But the anatomy of our sinus cavity is not at all made of mucosa. There are still some parts that are hardly seen by the naked eye. There are some small orifices called ostia. These small orifices open into recesses in our nasal cavities which is called meati. These meati are covered by the turbinates, also known as the conchae. The turbinates are made of bony shelves that are surrounded by erectile soft tissue.

In each nasal cavity, there are three turbinates with three corresponding meati. The three meati are called the superior, middle, and inferior. These are tasked to humidify the air that goes in our respiratory tract. It also helps move the dust and other particulate matter present in the air that we inhaled down to the pharynx, to the esophagus, and finally digested in our stomach.

Now, can you imagine if one part of the anatomy of our sinus cavity malfunctions? Unclean air will get through our respiratory tract and can cause more damage than we can ever imagine! So, the next time that we feel discomfort in our cheeks, forehead, or around the yes, it is better to consult a doctor for sinusitis!

We should also take care of our sinus as it is the main target of allergens like pollen and dust mites that gives us unwanted reaction from our sinus. It can yield to mucus, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and itching. All these and more can affect our sinus that could in turn put our respiratory tract in danger! This is why, it is really best for us to know more about the anatomy of our sinus cavity and how should we take good care of it! 

More Articles