What are Sinuses?

I’ve had a re-occurring sinus infection for the last month — just when I think it’s gone, it comes back with a vengeance. But what, I ask myself, sinuses? It says here that sinuses are “air pockets located inside the bones in the skull” that are “probably present to reduce the weight of the skull as well as to create resonance to the voice.” Who knew.

A sinus infection — sinusitis — occurs when the ostium, a tiny hole “about the size of a pin hole which provides drainage for the sinus,” gets blocked. The result is that “mucus that normally is expelled from the sinus builds up in the sinus.” This I know very well by now.

The most interesting fact about sinuses I learned on my question:

Since the Spring of 1990, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of people who have sinus infections. The reason for this is not clear at the present, but it is most likely due to increasing amounts of pollution and ozone. There have been similar increases in other major cities in the United States.

It says here that the rise is 50 per cent:

Between 1990 and 1992, people with sinusitis reported approximately 73 million restricted activity days — a 50 percent increase from the 50 million restricted activity days reported between 1986 and 1988.

To my untrained eye this would seem, like the sudden disappearance of bees one of those “canary in the coal mine” signs that there might be Something Wrong.

But then again, my sinuses are plugged and I’m not thinking straight.


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