| Food & Diet

Paranasal Sinuses Function And Structure

By Jayton Miller

If you are alive right now then you've most likely experienced at least one sinus issue in your life. From sniffling to sneezing to being unable to breath, sinus problems are an absolute challenge for many. However, knowing how the sinuses work can help you overcome these challenges. Let’s take a look at how the paranasal sinuses really work...


General Function Of The Paranasal Sinuses:

General Function Of Paranasal Sinuses

The paranasal sinuses are openings in the skull that form during puberty. The space is nearly absent at birth and during childhood then becomes expanded during puberty and keeps the skull relatively light, instead of filling with bone and becoming more dense and heavy with age. These air filled cavities are theorized to be present to help keep the inside of the nose moisturized through mucous production, help with sound resonation, and to help warm air to prevent cold air from cooling the inside of the body too excessively.

The paranasal sinuses are in pairs and are paired with it opposite side. If you were to look at someone facing towards you and divide their body in half you would get half the sinuses on each side. The four pairs of paranasal sinuses are:

  • Sphenoidal Sinuses - This pair lies within the sphenoid bone side by side separated by a thin bone protrusion. The opening for these sinuses is in the uppermost part of the nasal cavoty and drains its mucous right into the nasal cavity.
  • Frontal Sinuses - Situated within the bone of the forehead, just above the inner part of the eyebrows (or right above the middle of a unibrow). Mucous drains rather easily from this area with the help of gravity.
  • Ethmoidal Sinuses - Lying between the eye socket and the nasal cavity, these are the only sinuses that are made of multiple air cavities combined. Known as the ethmoid air cells, these cells are split up into three group - front, middle, and back. The drainage of these cavities is somewhat good but not as efficient as the aforementioned ones.
  • Maxillary Sinuses - These are the largest pairs of sinuses, and are within the cheek bones. This is the most commonly infected and and clogged up pair of sinuses as the drainage of these sinuses is not efficient in the slightest.

On the side of the nasal cavity there is an opening known as the ostium. The ostium is the main opening on each side for the sinuses and provides air to the sinuses from the nose.

Read More: The Real Cause Of Your Runny Nose

Common Challenges Of The Paranasal Sinuses:

Common Issues Of Paranasal Sinuses

Some of the most common issues of the paranasal sinuses are due to inflammation that lead to the ostia becoming blocked and preventing the flow flow of air and the drainage of mucous from the sinus cavities. The inflammation that leads to this can be caused by infection, or excessive irritation. If left untreated over a long period of time it can lead to many serious ailments. Taking steps to keep your sinuses clear and flowing is going to help prevent these things from happening.

Read More: How We Smell

How To Support Healthy Paranasal Sinuses:

How To Support Healthy Paranasal Sinuses

Some of the best ways to support healthy sinuses are:

  • Staying hydrated - helps to keep the mucous thin and flowing.
  • Get an air filter - helps to get rid of airborne irritants.
  • Shower before bed - gets rid of possible irritants that could be inhaled during the night.
  • Get some sunlight - vitamin D deficiency can lead to more sinus inflammation.
  • Get plenty of sleep - lack of sleep decreases immune function and increases susceptibility to illnesses.
  • Stay fit - exercise helps keep the immune system functioning properly and can even help strengthen it.
  • Eat good food - having a good diet full of foods that do not irritate your body will have a massive impact on your long term sinus health and overall health.


Almost everyone is going to have at least one sinus challenge in their life. Knowing how the sinuses are structures, and how they work will help you more effectively handle those challenges when they come up. If you are looking for a way to eat that works with body and helps to prevent a lot of these things from happening in the long run make sure to check out The Thermo Diet.

Thermo Diet