Sinusitis - Causes

What are the causes of sinusitis?

Sinusitis can result due to lack of ventilation of the sinuses and disrupted flow of secretions from the sinuses to the nose following an ordinary cold. Chronic sinusitis is often the result of specific anatomy such as narrow passages connecting into the sinuses.

Sinusitis is often preceded by a common cold.

From a cold to sinusitis

During an ordinary cold, the formation of mucous is increased and the lining of the sinuses, the mucosa, begins to swell. The entrance passages to the sinuses become narrower and the transport of secretions from the sinuses to the nose is disrupted, potentially leading to blocked sinuses. The sinuses also are not properly ventilated anymore.

In this situation a bacterial infection causing inflammation of the sinuses can easily develop. Such being the case, inflammation of the nasal lining easily extends to the sinuses. Therefore a cold will almost always be accompanied by a mild form of acute sinusitis.

From acute to chronic sinusitis

The severity of acute sinusitis and whether it turns into a chronic sinusitis depends on many factors. A weak immune system, aggressive germs and pathogens as well as anatomic peculiarities (such as a warped nasal septum or a large turbinate) that prevent adequate ventilation and drainage of secretions are the most commonly implicated.

Chronic sinusitis is defined as an episode of sinusitis that lasts for longer than 2-3 months during which the symptoms have not receded or are persistently recurring. Yellow nasal secretions, a blocked nose, cough as well as headaches frequently appear as a result of the sinusitis. Depending on which of the sinuses are most badly affected, the symptoms of sinusitis can vary. Throbbing pain can appear behind the forehead, in the cheek area or even behind the eyes.

How do you recognise chronic sinusitis?

The following symptoms are indicative of chronic sinusitis:

  • Yellow nasal secretions
  • Loss of or a reduced sense of smell
  • Husky voice
  • The need to frequently clear your throat
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath, Halitosis
  • Swollen Eyes

Chronic Sinusitis - Treatment

Which treatments help when suffering from sinusitis? Chronic sinusitis in particular is known to be resistant to therapy, however, taking the right measures can reduce symptoms of chronic sinusitis considerably. [ more ]