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Knowing your sinus cavities can help you prevent your next sinus pressure headache

Knowing your sinus cavities can help you prevent your next sinus pressure headache

Have you ever wondered: What are those eight hollow places in the facial bones and skull for?

The function of the sinus cavities.

Your most important task is, believe it or not, to produce mucus. Why? To help us avoid getting sick and therefore make life more pleasant, and help us get better when we are sick. Thus, in addition to producing mucus, those hollow areas:

  • humidify and warm the air that flows through the nasal cavity
  • protect the brain and eyes by acting as a crumple zone when necessary
  • give resonance to the voice
  • make the skull lighter
  • isolate your skull

As you can see, the seemingly unwanted gross things are actually a friend


The sinuses are lined with membranes whose main function is, obviously, to produce mucus. One of the membranes, in turn, is lined with tiny hairs called cilia. They are single-celled organelles with projections that look like hair under the microscope. Striking rhythmically in one direction at a rate of 16 times per second, the cilia act like paddles pushing mucus and other matter from the sinuses into the nasal cavity, and from there to the back of the throat and finally to the stomach where it is deposit. from. Anything that disturbs or paralyzes the rhythmic beating of the cilia will cause discomfort. For example, a runny nose in the extreme cold of winter paralyzes the rhythmic beating of the cilia and mucus is pulled by gravity into the nasal cavity and outward.

Caring for the cilia

Some authorities go so far as to say that most sinus problems would be eliminated if the cilia were healthy and allowed to do their job properly. In other words, we could probably prevent our next sinus pressure episode if the cilia were working properly. Yes, we could still have an excessive amount of mucus, for example, due to certain foods we eat, cold weather, a virus, etc., but it would not build up or increase the pressure, with all the miseries that accompany it. But hot air or steam above a certain temperature, 102 ° F, can also paralyze the cilia. Therefore, vapor inhalation should not be allowed to exceed that temperature level. And certain nasal or sinus sprays contain ingredients that can also work against cilia health. That’s why over-the-counter product labels need to be read carefully, especially side effects. Of course, drugs of pleasure, mainly those that are inhaled, can have a very deleterious effect on the sinuses, in addition to the health in general.

Sinus health care must begin with prevention, not cure, if we are to permanently eradicate sinus pressure. Knowing how our sinus cavities work, as well as the important role that cilia play there, and how to keep them functioning in a healthy way are undoubtedly two steps in the right direction.

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