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The sinuses are surrounded by bone and cartilage and lined with a mucous membrane. Sinusitis occurs when the membranes becomes inflamed and painful, which may be a result of a blocked sinus opening.
Chronic sinusitis is often caused by inflammation and blockage due to physical obstruction such as a deviated septum, misformed bone or cartilage structures such as the nasal conchae (turbinates), or blockage by nasal cysts or polyps.
- Last reviewed on 1/30/2008
- James L. Demetroulakos, M.D., F.A.C.S., Department of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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