The nose and the sinuses are lined with a membrane that
When air enters the nose, it is warmed,
moistened, and filtered before passing into the lungs.
bacteria, and other irritants often become trapped in the mucus that lines the
This mucus is pushed to the back of the throat by
tiny hairs (cilia) that line the inside of the sinuses and nose, and the mucus
is eventually swallowed.
If the mucous membrane becomes inflamed, it may swell,
blocking the openings that drain the sinuses. Mucus inside the sinuses then
becomes trapped. Both the inflammation and the pressure of trapped mucus cause
pain. Also, bacteria trapped in the mucus can grow, causing a bacterial sinus
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDonald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine