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Sinus Glossary - List of Sinus Terms

Adenoids: The tissue in the back of the nose. Large adenoids can lead to blockage of sinus drainage and therefore sinus infections.

Allergen: Any substance that causes an allergy. The most common allergens are smoke, dust, pollen, mold and animal dander.

Allergies: Dysfunctional immune responses to substances that are usually harmless to most people.

Asthma: A chronic upper respiratory condition that is caused by a tightening of the muscles and swelling of the lining in the small breathing tubes of the lungs.

CT Scan:  Often called 'cat' scan. A type of X-ray that gives a detailed blueprint of the architecture of the sinuses.

Cavernous sinus thrombosis:  The blockage of a large vein at the base of the brain which causes a blood clot to form. The cavernous sinuses are situated behind each eye socket and on either side of the pituitary gland. Their purpose is to drain blood from the brain and face back to the heart.

Deviated Septum: An abnormality in the septum in which the partition separating the left and right sides of the nose that curves or twists. A deviated septum can cause serious problems, nasal blockage, sinus infections and other sinus problems.

Endoscope: A narrow instrument with small lights and cameras that's used to explore the nasal and sinus passages.

Ethmoid Sinuses: Sinuses that are located on each side of the nose between the eyes.

Frontal Sinuses: Sinuses that are located in the forehead.

Maxillary Sinuses: Sinuses that are located in the cheek above the teeth and below the eyes.

Mucous: Secretion that moistens and protects the nasal passages and sinus cavities.

Nasal Endoscopy: A procedure in which the doctor uses an endoscope to look at the sinus passages, looking for any obstructions or abnormalities.

Ostium: Is the small opening connecting the sinuses to the nose. 

Polyp: A mass of membrane  that is not typical to the normal anatomy.

Septum: The partition that separates the right from the left side of the nose.
Sinus Headache: Headaches, which are usually characterized by a painful pressure in certain areas of the face or skull and are usually triggered by air pressure changes or air-borne irritants.
Sinus Infection: An inflammation of the lining in one or more of the sinuses typically characterized by pain and tenderness in sinus areas, blockage and yellow mucous.
Sinuses: The air-filled cavities that are located above, beside and behind the nose and connected to the nose by tiny passages that carry sinus mucous into the nose. Sinuses act as resonating chambers for speaking and singing. They also reduce the weight of the skull by replacing dense bone with air-filled chambers.
Sinusitis: A sinus infection, which is an inflammation of the lining in one or more of the sinuses typically characterized by pain and tenderness in sinus areas, blockage and yellow mucous.
Sphenoid Sinuses: Sinuses that rare located behind the eyes and are the most deeply placed sinuses.  
Turbinates: Bones on the sidewall of the nose. There are three turbinates located on each side of the nose: the lower (or inferior) turbinate, the middle turbinate and the upper (or superior) turbinate. The tear duct drains underneath the lower turbinate. The maxillary and ethmoid sinuses drain into the middle turbinate, and the sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses drain under the upper turbinate.


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