The More You Know: Sinuses

My sinuses have been achy and throbbing for the last week. I hate not feeling 100% and was thinking from an anatomical perspective, sinuses don’t make sense. So, because it’s how I roll, I googled “What purpose do the sinuses serve?” Answer:

A variety of theories have been proposed:

  • The sinuses act as ‘air-conditioners;’ they filter and humidify the air.

  • The sinuses lighten the weight of the skull.
  • The sinuses are ‘crumple zones.’ In severe facial trauma, the facial skeleton is crushed; this absorbs energy that would otherwise be transmitted to the cranial cavity and brain. In a similar fashion, automobiles are designed so that the energy from a collision is absorbed by the car body, but the energy transmitted to the passenger cabin is minimized.
  • The sinuses are resonance chambers (echo chambers tuned to a specific frequency), which change the characteristics of spoken voice.


I still don’t think they make a lot of sense and would prefer not to have such a frequent point of failure in my life. Not that eliminating them is an option. ;)

Source: American Rhinologic Society (No, they don’t study rhinoceri.)

3 Responses to “The More You Know: Sinuses”

  1. Vince Says:

    Gee, I thought they studied rhinoceruses. The things you learn.

  2. Kim Says:

    I’m with Vince, I thought they studied logical rhinos. Vulcan rhinos maybe?

  3. WendyB_09 Says:

    And all this time I thought the only things sinuses were good for was causing headaches and infections when actually they’re air bags for your brain! The thing you learn.