The sinuses are air spaces in the skull, inside the bones of the face, which drain into the nasal cavity.
The function of the sinuses is wide: heating the air we breathe before entering the lungs, moisturizing the air, building sound resonance, and easing the weight of the skull.
Nasal discharge or mucus is produced in the sinuses which drain into the nose and mouth. In cases where the mechanism goes wrong, like in common cold, for example, the sinus drainage pathway becomes blocked and does not drain properly, which could lead to the accumulation of pus and inflammation inside the sinuses, a situation which is known as sinusitis.
For acute sinusitis the best treatment is local, using a large and frequent quantity of nasal salty water lavage with local or systemic decongestants that most of the time is enough. Anti-biotic treatment is kept for very severe disease or when acute sinusitis becomes complicated.
Another common condition is the persistent inflammation of the sinuses that results in the growth of the sinus tissue which could lead to the creation of nose and sinus polyps.
Sinus polyps can spread and block the nasal cavity. This blockage can cause a feeling of blocked nose as well as a decrease in the sense of smell.
Surgery of the nose and sinuses, FESS, is an endoscopic surgery performed under general anesthesia using a camera through the nostrils. During the operation, the diseased tissue (polyps) is removed and the nasal sinus drainage pathway is enlarged to improve the sinus passages, improve the nasal airflow and sense of smell. The surgery is a very good procedure for chronic sinus disease.