Physiology of the paranasal sinuses. Intrinsic sinusal functions
The paranasal sinuses are a set of pneumatised chamberslocated at the front of the skull which surround the nasal fossae and which are connected to them through small apertures.
The role they play with regard to the rest of the body is not fully known.
Multiple functions have been attributed to them:
- lightening the bone structure of the skull
- protection of the skull's nervous structures in the event of possible trauma
- thermal insulation of the brain
- soundbox and cenaesthetic controller of sound during phonation
- thermohygrometric conditioner of inspired air
- regulator of nasal pressure in the course of breathing and abrupt changes in pressure
- storage of odorous particles
- contribution to the adult shape of the face
Both the nose and sinuses are covered by a respiratory-type mucosa, although the nasal sinus is different from the sinusal sinus, fundamentally through the functional specialisation of the blood vessels of its chorion.
Any inflammatory process of the nasal mucosa may alter sinusal functionalism to varying degrees by blocking communication with the exterior.