Photo Above: Sinus cilia
Our sinuses are a vital part of our bodies and do many amazing things. Here are some fun facts we wanted to share!
1) We normally have 4 pairs of sinuses, but some people never develop a pair (usually the frontal sinuses). Scientists don’t know why.
2) The sinuses are spaces within the skull and facial bones, and so they serve as a “crumple zone” when there is trauma to the face. This protects the brain from injury.
3) The sinuses have a lining, and this lining secretes mucus and has cilia. The cilia steadily beat at about 700 to 800 times per minute and this moves mucous into the nasal cavity.
4) The cilia in the sinuses normally move a very, very thin layer of mucus (10-15 micron thick) at approximately 9 mm per minute toward the nasal cavity.
5) A baby is born with only two tiny pairs of sinuses (ethmoidal and maxillary), and the other 2 sinus pairs develop by age six.
6) The sinuses grow in size from birth until the end of the teenage years. The greatest sinus growth occurs when a child’s permanent teeth erupt and during puberty.
7) The largest sinuses are about an inch in diameter in adults, and the others are much smaller.
8) When we talk about the sinuses, we are actually referring to the paranasal sinuses.
9) We also have other sinuses in the body, for example in the brain and kidneys.
10) For many years it was thought that the sinuses were sterile, but now we know that millions of microbes (bacteria, fungi, viruses) live in the mucus lining of the sinuses.
11) People with chronic sinusitis can have altered taste – less sensitive to bitter tastes, and more sensitive to sweet.
12) Dogs and cats also have sinuses, and they can develop sinus infections.