Physiology in Immunity

This mechanism accounts for how a majority of foreign debris is cleared from the nasal region, though the process is hindered when the ostium becomes blocked or the mucus becomes too viscous to move. Particulates are inhaled and become trapped in the viscous mucus overlaying the respiratory epithelium. Using coordinated mucocil-iary beat, the mucus is swept through the cavities and is pushed into the nasopharynx where it is then swallowed and digested (Baraniuk, 1994; Herbert, 1999). This accounts for how a majority of foreign debris is cleared from the nasal region, though the process becomes complicated when the ostium becomes blocked, or the mucus becomes too viscous to move. This thickening is seen in several disease states within the sinuses, though the mechanism behind this physiology is not yet discerned. Overall, the epithelium of the nasal cavity acts as an anatomical barrier by not only preventing antigens from directly reaching superficial tissue but also by secreting lysozyme and defensins to counter nominal pathogenic microbial colonization (Baraniuk, 1994).

In addition to the anatomical barriers, leukocytes play an indispensable role in the paranasal region innate immunity. Since each variant of fungal sinusitis carries its own specific host response, further information regarding the role of nasal physiology in innate and adaptive immunity will be discussed with each of the different classifications of fungal sinusitis.

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