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Diseases & Conditions

Sniffing out sinus-related problems

June 1, 2021

Sinus troubles are common. Here’s how to spot, treat, and prevent them.


Your sinuses are something of a mystery. They are a grouping of interconnected air pockets within the bones of your skull, but experts aren’t really sure what their true purpose is. Some speculate they are there to provide a cushion, protecting your face in the event of a fall or injury. Others think they’re designed to warm and humidify the air you breathe before it makes its way into your lungs, says Dr. Tanya Laidlaw, director of translational research in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Most people probably don’t give their sinuses much thought — that is, until there’s a problem.

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