As ethmoidal cells (lat. Ethmoid sinus, also cellules ethmoidales) refers to a variety of air-filled spaces in the ethmoid bone (ethmoid bone). A distinction is made between anterior and posterior ethmoid cells, which form the ethmoid labyrinth. Together with the maxillary, the sphenoid and the frontal sinus, the ethmoid cells belong to the paranasal sinuses. As such, they can also inflame and cause pain.
The main function of the ethmoidal cells is probably, as with all paranasal sinuses, in the resulting through the cavity with air filling weight savings (pneumatization of the bone). Other features are still being researched and are considered controversial.
Due to the connection of the ethmoidal cells to the outside, infections that originate in the area of the nose can migrate as far as the paranasal sinuses, including the ethmoidal cells. One speaks then of a sinusitis, a sinusitis. Most of these inflammations are caused by viral pathogens that have caused symptoms in advance in the nasal cavity. But even bacteria can be the cause of a Siebbeinzellenentzündung or settle secondarily on already weakened area. While in adults the maxillary sinus is often the site of sinusitis, it is most likely to affect the ethmoid cells in children. Often there is an accumulation of secretions and pus inside the cavities, as the inflow and outflow is only a relatively narrow gap.
Such an inflammation of the ethmoidal cells is noticeable with:
Mostly the complaints increase when bending over and voranberneigen.
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These typical symptoms are usually sufficient to diagnose sinusitis. Particularly in the case of severe unclear progressions or unclear localization, a nasal reflection is additionally possible. With this, the doctor uses a rhinoscope to examine the nasal cavities from the inside and can thus assess the condition of the mucous membranes. In addition, both an X-ray and computed tomography images of the nose and paranasal sinuses can be made.
Acute viral sinusitis usually heals completely within a few days to weeks. Therapeutically, the use of decongestant drugs makes sense, as well as the use of painkillers and, if necessary, antipyretic preparations.
The same applies to first-time acute bacterial infections. If a bacterial cause of the disease is suspected, an antibiotic is also indicated. Cortisone-based nasal sprays can also fight inflammation locally.
In some cases, there are long-lasting processes that can become chronic and then break out again and again (recurrent chronic sinusitis). In the case of unsuccessful therapy attempts or infections that occur more frequently than usual, a further step in the therapeutic concept is the surgical repair of the entire paranasal sinuses. This is usually done endoscopically through the nose (transnasal access), so that no large cuts are needed. In the course of the operation, pus and excess secretions are cleared, all sinuses are flushed and possible anatomical features that can promote inflammation are remedied. These include, for example, benign mucosal proliferation (polyps) or a curved nasal septum. Part of the frequently inflamed mucosa can be removed and thus the future risk of infection can be reduced.
Inflammation of the ethmoidal cells, which often affect young children, heal usually uncomplicated and quickly. In very rare cases, it can lead to spreading to neighboring organs, such as the eye socket or the meninges or the brain. Without treatment, there is also the risk of periostitis.