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Sinusitis

Sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinus cavities, which are moist, hollow spaces in the bones of the skull. There are four pairs of sinuses:

  • Frontal sinuses
  • Maxillary sinuses
  • Ethmoid sinuses
  • Sphenoid sinuses (not shown in illustration)

If the opening from a sinus cavity becomes plugged, the flow of mucus is blocked and pressure builds up, causing pain and inflammation.


Review Date: 8/31/2011
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington (4/18/2010).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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