What are Cilia?

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• How long is the recovery after surgery? • How is treatment different after surgery? • What if the surgery doesn't help? When should surgery be considered? A small percentage of patients with chronic sinusitis will fail to improve even with the best medical treatment. In most studies of patients treated by allergists who specialize in treatment of chronic sinusitis, this is less than 10% of patients who have had optimal medical treatment. It is important to realize, however, that surgery is frequently performed on patients who have not had the best medical treatment prior to surgery. This web site is one of many attempts to educate physicians and the public about the treatment of chronic sinus infections. Although many physicians, including ear, nose and throat doctors and allergists treat chronic sinusitis, some physicians do a better job at it than others. There is an ongoing effort by a small number of specialists to educate both physicians and the general public about the best ... more
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The sinuses in their normal state are empty since mucous is constantly swept out by cilia. The cilia work in unison to sweep the mucous through the ostia. The mucous is swept into the nasal cavity where it then drains out of the nose (runny nose) or into the back of the throat (post nasal drip). When cilia do not function properly either due to an inborn problem (rare), infection or smoking, mucous is not properly cleared. This becomes self-perpetuating process where the infected mucous interferes with the normal sweeping process of the cilia and this in turn prevents proper clearance of the mucous.
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Cilia is Latin for "eyelash." These tiny protuberances on single-cells organisms wave-like hairs to move the cell around or something around the cell. They are responsible for protecting us from germs in our lungs and pushing an ovum down the fallopian tube. Flagella are longer such hairs, usually found in ones or twos, such as the "tail" of a sperm. They share many characteristics with cilia, but they also occur on prokaryotes. Eukaryotes, single-celled organisms, use cilia to move through liquid. A cilium attaches to the cytoskeleton of the cell with a basal body, the way a root attaches hair to our skin. The rhythm of the waving cilium is controlled by centrioles, located inside the cell wall. Mitochondria, other units inside the cell, provide ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cilia, a source of cellular energy. The ATP directs the chemical kinesin to bind to certain parts of the cilia that control their movement. Thus, the cilia are able to "beat" or "swim" their way through ... more
As a Ph.D. in cilia-related diseases, I can tell you that cilia are projections off of cells in organisms that function as sensory organelles or as mechanical devices in moving fluid, debris. Cilia are sensors when they are non-motile, and their role varies depending on the tissue and cell they are located on. more

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