I’ve put together information on a sinus cavity diagram to show you. There are 4 main sinus cavity locations including the maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal sinuses. (See Picture below) I will be explaining the locations, purposes and conditions of our sinus cavities; tune in!
Where Are These 4 Sinus Cavities Located?
As stated above, there are 4 main sinus cavity locations; these are all located in different areas.
Maxillary Sinus Cavity: The maxillary sinus cavity is located in the cheekbones. This is your largest sinus cavity. See the diagram to get an idea.
Ethmoid Sinus Cavity: The ethmoid sinus cavity is located right in between your eyes. Right over your nasal bridge more specifically.
Sphenoid Sinus Cavity: The Sphenoid Sinus Cavity, a quite odd name indeed, is located in the bones behind the nasal cavity. See the diagram for a better idea of where it is located.
Frontal Sinus Cavities: The frontal sinus cavities are located in the lower-center of the forehead.
Now That We Have Covered The Locations
What purpose do the sinuses serve? What are the sinuses made up of? Why do we even need sinuses? They always seem to just annoy us all right? Well it turns out that… we really don’t know WHY we need our sinuses! There are some theories that may provide some reasoning behind why we need our pesky sinuses.
Theories: To Provide A Balloon-Like Cushioning For Our Skulls.To Provide Resonance For Our Voices.To Help Humidify Air We Breath In.To Produce And Store MucusCushioning To Protect Our Eyes, Eye Sockets, Brain, And Nose.
Those are some theories of why we need our sinuses. There is a lot to learn about our sinuses, a variety of unexplained variables. Back to our questions; so what purpose do our sinuses serve?
The sinus cavities have several functions within our skull. Sinus cavities actually decrease the weight of our frontal skull. They also increase the resonance of someone’s voice, provide adequate protection from dangerous inflictions to the face, and to top all that, provide defense to the immune system.
Lots of great benefits there to look at, maybe our sinuses are worth having right?! Lets look deeper into our sinus cavities and see exactly what they’re made up of.
Our sinuses are actually lined with a pink and soft tissue called mucosa. Normally though, our sinuses are completly empty except for a nice thin layering of mucus.
The inside of our noses have ridges called turbinates, (I Know, Weird Terminology). These biological structures actually help humidify and filter our everyday air we breath in. Our noses are also divided in the very center by a thin structure / wall called the septum. (There is a condition where this septum is incorrectly formed.)
(Most of our sinuses eventually drain right into our noses through a very small drainage or channel pathway called the middle meatus.)
We’ve all came across a sinus condition once in our lives, the miserable, congested and aggravating colds to the life-threatning sinus infections. Heres a small touch-up on some nasal conditions that some may exhibit.
Acute Sinusitis (Sinus Infection): Bacteria or viruses cause an infection within the sinus cavity causing inflammation, nasal congestion, increased mucus production. Acute sinusitis can also cause discomfort in the maxillary sinuses (Cheekbones), frontal sinuses (Lower-Center Forehead), and / or around the eyes. Headaches are common side-effect symptoms due to sinus pressure.
Chronic Sinusitis (Chronic Rhino-Sinusitis): Chronic sinusitis is more than just a series of bacterial or viral infections. Rhino-sinusitis is an on-going process of inflammation within the sinuses.
(Note: Healthcare professionals will more than likely use the term rhino-sinusitis. Most sinusitis sufferers actually suffer from inflammation within the nasal passages. The prefix rhino- means nasal passages.)
Allergic Rhino Sinusitis: Pesky allergens such as dust mites, pollen, or pet dander can cause the natural biological defenses in the nose and sinuses to overreact. As a result, increased mucus production, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and itchiness is a result.
Deviated Septum: If the septum that divides the nose in the center deviates too far too one side, airflow can be annoyingly obstructed. (This is what I have, and its not too fun; it gets hard to breath at times.)
Turbinate Hypertrophy: The ridges within nasal septum are overly-enlarged, as a result obstructing airflow of the nasal passages.
Nasal Polyps: Nasal polyps are small growths that reside in the nasal cavities in response to inflammation. Allergic rhino sinusitis, chronic sinusitis infections, and asthma can result in nasal polyps.