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Paranasal sinus

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Definition

noun, plural: paranasal sinuses

Any of the air-filled spaces or sinuses within the bones of the the skull and face, adjacent to the nasal cavity. It includes the frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses.


Supplement

The paranasal sinuses are lined with mucous membrane that is continuous with the lining of the nasal cavities. Their biological function remains unclear. They are thought to have a role in insulating sensitive structures like dental roots and eyes from rapid temperature changes in the nasal cavity, providing a buffer against blows to the face, increasing the resonance of the voice, or decreasing the relative weight of the front of the skull, and especially the bones of the face.


Synonyms: