Sinusitis is a fairly common condition. It can develop following a cold, upper respiratory infection, or allergic reaction. Environmental irritants, certain medical conditions, and structural abnormalities can contribute to sinusitis.
Sinusitis causes pressure and pain in the head and face. It can also cause nasal congestion, coughing, fever, and a sore throat. Symptoms may be relieved with over-the-counter medications. Antibiotics can treat specific types of infection. Treatment for contributing medical conditions or surgery may help recurrent or chronic sinusitis.
PreventionYou may be able to prevent sinusitis by avoiding irritants and allergens. You should wash your hands frequently to prevent colds. It is advantageous to not smoke or be around smoke. You should not snort illegal drugs. If you experience recurrent sinusitis, it may be helpful to be evaluated for allergies.
Am I at Risk
Risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing sinusitis, although some people that develop the condition do not have any risk factors. You should tell your doctor about your risk factors and discuss your concerns.
Risk factors for sinusitis:
_____ A cold, upper respiratory infection, or allergic reaction.
_____ Weakened immune systems from chemotherapy, HIV, or AIDS
_____ Asthma, allergies, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
_____ Cystic fibrosis, immotile cilia syndrome, and Kartagener’s syndrome
_____ A deviated septum, nasal bone spur, nasal polyp, or a foreign body in the nose
_____ Snorting illegal drugs, such as cocaine
_____ Changes in altitude from flying or scuba diving
_____ Overuse of over-the-counter nasal decongestants
_____ Hormonal changes during pregnancy
_____ Air pollution and smoke
Sinusitis can recur or become chronic. You should receive treatment for underlying medical conditions that cause sinusitis. In some cases, surgery may be used to correct a deviated septum, remove nasal polyps, or clean and drain the sinuses.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.