The Asthma Center

Sinus mechanism

The purpose of the sinus cavities is not completely known. Some theories include:

  • Add to the quality of the voice by acting as sound chambers
  • Humidify and warm air for the lungs
  • Increase exposure of smell receptors located in the top surface of the nose
  • Absorb any shock from injury to the head
  • Secrete mucus to moisten the nose and bacteria destroying proteins to cleanse the nose
  • Provide immunity with antibodies
  • Help facial growth
  • Lighten the bones of the skull

The sinuses consist of 4 paired air-filled chambers hollowed out in the skull and connected to the nose by small openings called ostia. The sinus cavities are named by their location: maxillary, ethmoid, frontal and sphenoid sinuses.



The following links detail the anatomy of the sinuses and each one's individual mechanism: