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The sinuses (from the Latin word for "hollow") are eight hollow spaces in the bones of the forehead, cheeks, and temples. Healthy, open sinuses are lined with sticky mucus to help ensure that the air we take into our lungs is moist, warm, and free from dust, dirt, and pollutants; without this filtering apparatus in our nose and throat our lungs and kidneys, and even our blood, could become permeated with toxins.
Although the sinuses help us to breathe, to many people it seems that that is the one thing they prevent us from doing! Do you wake up with a stuffy head and mucus in your throat? Do you feel as if you always have a cold?
You may be suffering from chronic sinus trouble - an inflammation of the lining of the nasal cavities or the sinuses of the skull. When the skull sinuses are affected, the condition is called sinusitis; when it's only the nasal cavities it's rhinitis. Surprisingly enough, sinus trouble is the most prevalent condition seen in people in the 18 to 45 age group.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
In sinusitis the sinus linings are inflamed, the tissues are swollen and full of mucus, drainage is often blocked - and the increased pressure causes the pain, discomfort, and other symptoms of sinusitis.
The symptoms may also include any of the following: swelling around the eyes; pain near the eyes and ears; a dull ache in the cheekbones or over the eyes; pain in the teeth or jaw; clogged nasal passages; increased nasal secretions; chills, fever, dizziness, loss of appetite, photophobia (sensitivity to light), bad breath, a general "yucky" feeling - even depression.
In rhinitis the throat or tonsils may sometimes become inflamed and the condition may mimic a cold or upper respiratory infection.