It looks like you are using an older version of Internet Explorer which is not supported. We advise that you update your browser to the latest version of Microsoft Edge, or consider using other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


What are the sinuses?

Your sinuses are a group of hollow (air-filled) cavities inside your skull.1,2 These cavities are lined with soft pink tissue known as mucosa and contain a thin layer of mucus.1


The different types of sinuses are:1,3

  • Maxillary sinuses: The largest sinuses, located in your cheekbones just below your eyes.
  • Frontal sinuses: Found in the lower centre of your forehead in the frontal bone above your eyes and around your eyebrows.
  • Ethmoid sinuses: Tiny air cells located in the ethmoid bone at the bridge of your nose between your eyes.
  • Sphenoid sinuses: Found in the sphenoid bone behind your nose, in the centre of your head.

What do the sinuses do?

Sinuses have a few useful functions. These include:

  • Humidifying the air you breathe in1-3
  • Protecting the bones in your face against injury (trauma)3
  • Lightening the weight of the head1,3
  • Improving the way you speak.1,3
Did you know? Your sinuses reach their full mature size when you’re in your early 20s, but they continue to grow very gradually for the rest of your life.3

Healthy sinuses vs blocked sinuses


When your sinuses are healthy, they are clear and filled with air.4 The thin mucus lining captures foreign particles that you breathe in and clears them out.2

Did you know? The average adult breathes more than 7000 L of air a day!2 Your sinuses are constantly working to filter and humidify this air.2

When you get sick, your sinuses can get blocked and filled with fluid (mucus).4,5 This blockage or “snottiness” is known as congestion.6 Congestion can cause bacteria to build up which may lead to a sinus infection (sinusitis).4,5

Learn more about sinus congestion and sinus infections.

  1. Hoffman M. Sinuses (human anatomy): function, picture, location, definition. WebMD. Accessed September 20, 2021. picture-of-the-sinuses.
  2. Kumpitsch C, Koskinen K, Schöpf V, et al. The microbiome of the upper respiratory tract in health and disease. BMC Biology. 2019;17(1):87.
  3. Lafci Fahrioglu S, VanKampen N, Andaloro C. Anatomy, head and neck, sinus function and development. In: StatPearls. StatsPearls Publishing; 2021. Accessed September 20, 2021.
  4. Sinus infection (sinusitis): types, causes, symptoms & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed September 20, 2021. diseases/17701-sinusitis.
  5. CDC. Suffering from a sinus infection? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 26, 2021. Accessed September 23, 2021.
  6. Medical definition of congestion. MedicineNet. Accessed August 4, 2021.
Image References
  1. Hoffmann M. Picture of the sinuses. WebMD. Accessed May 2019.
  2. Adapted from: CLIPAREA│Custom media. Sinuses anatomy. Shutterstock. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Sidebar References
  1. Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd. ACC® 600 Professional information. V1.0 (02/11/2021), approved 26 October 2021 (oral powder) and 02 November 2021 (effervescent tablets).
  2. Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd. ACC® 20 mg/ml ORAL SOLUTION Professional information. V1 (07/10/2021), approved 05 October 2021.
  3. Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd. ACC® 200 Professional information. V10 (16/08/2022), approved 08 July 2020.


[S1] ACC® 20 mg/ml Oral Solution. Reg. No.: 48/10.3/0261. Composition: Each 1 ml of ACC 20 mg/ml ORAL SOLUTION contains 20 mg acetylcysteine. ATC Code: R05C B01.

[S1] ACC® 200 (effervescent tablets). Reg. No.: 29/10.2.2/0753. Composition: Each ACC 200 effervescent tablet contains: 200 mg acetylcysteine. Pharmacological Classification: A10.3 Medicines acting on the respiratory system – other.

[S1] ACC® 600 (effervescent tablets). Reg. No.: 45/10.3/0229. Composition: Each effervescent tablet contains 600 mg acetylcysteine. [S1] ACC® 600 ORAL POWDER. Reg. No.: 51/10.3/0816. Composition: Each sachet contains 600 mg of acetylcysteine. ATC Code: R05CB01.

For full prescribing information refer to the Sandoz Professional Information approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

Contact Us
Sandoz SA (Pty) Ltd, Reg. No. 1990/001979/07,
Magwa Crescent West,
Waterfall City,
Jukskei View,
Tel: +27 (11) 347 6600.
SANCAL Customer Call Centre: 0861 726 225.
Reporting of AEs: or [email protected]