Knowledge of the anatomy of the sinuses is helpful in understanding sinus blockages. Within the nasal walls are three turbinate bones, which look like rolled up scrolls. They are covered in a mucous membrane that contains vascular channels. These channels can swell under certain conditions, like allergy or inflammation, causing a blockage. Under the middle turbinate is a space called the middle meatus. Within the middle meatus is the osteomeatal complex, which is the pathway for the drainage of the cheek (maxillary), forehead (frontal) and anterior ethmoid sinuses. If this key pathway is inflamed or swollen, it can cause the sinuses to become blocked.
A Answers (2)
Johns Hopkins Medicine answered
Sanford Health answeredWhile sinuses can be large (the size of a quarter or larger), the openings/pathway between the sinuses and the nose can be very small. When the tissue is inflamed in this opening, the sinuses may become closed off from the nose and become blocked. Many factors can be the cause of this inflammation such as allergies, bacterial or viral contaminates or something else within the body's immune system. By visiting with a trained ENT, you will be able to find out if your sinuses are blocked or, if they may be open but just not functioning normally.