611 Sherman Avenue East
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
(920) 568-5000
La linea de mensajes: (920) 568-5001

Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
Related Reading

Understanding Your Sinuses

Your sinuses are air-filled spaces between the bones in your head. They have small openings that connect to the nasal cavity. The sinuses make mucus that drains into the nose. This helps keep the nose moist and free of dust and germs.


Front view of face showing sinuses.

Side view of head showing sinuses.


Cells with cilia and mucus on top. Arrows show mucus being swept along.Parts of the nasal cavnity

  • The septum is the wall of cartilage and bone in the center of the nasal cavity.

  • The middle meatus is the intersection between the sinuses.

  • Turbinates are ridges on the sides of the nasal cavity.

Cilia keep sinuses clear

Air circulates freely though healthy sinuses. Tiny, hairlike structures called cilia line the sinuses. Cilia move the thin, watery mucus through the sinuses and into the nose. Sinuses are healthy when they drain freely. Sinus drainage can be blocked if the sinus lining is swollen or if mucus is too thick. Cilia that are damaged or don’t work correctly can also lead to problems with drainage.

Online Medical Reviewer: Images Reviewed by Staywell medical art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/16/2014
© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered by tayWell
About Us