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When people say, "My sinuses are killing me," they usually are referring to symptoms of congestion and achiness in one or more of the four pairs of cavities (air-filled spaces) known as paranasal sinuses. These small hollow spaces, which are located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding the nose, are named for the bones that contain them, as follows:
The paranasal sinuses open into the nasal cavity and are lined with cells that make mucus to keep the nose from drying out during breathing and to trap unwanted materials so that they do not reach the lungs.
Last Updated June 02, 2011
Last Reviewed January 11, 2011