Causes of acute sinusitis
Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, which then turns into a bacterial infection. Colds can inflame the sinus cavities and create uncomfortable symptoms. However, both a cold and sinus inflammation usually go away without treatment within a couple of weeks. If the inflammation produced by the cold leads to a bacterial or viral infection, however, then this infection is what health experts call acute sinusitis. The most common causes of acute sinusitis are as follows:
Bacteria - If the sinus openings become blocked and the infected mucus cannot move out of the body or drain down the throat, the ideal environment for bacteria to grow is created. The presence of bacteria then creates an acid environment in the sinuses. Mucous membranes swell more as a result of this. The sinus openings become increasingly blocked.
Diseased teeth - On occasion, the maxillary sinus in the cheekbone becomes infected by the root of a diseased upper tooth.
Foreign objects - Young children sometimes put objects in their nostrils. This can introduce bacteria into the sinuses.
Fungus - A fungus is a plant or mold. It is often microscopic and can be ingested with food or inhaled in the air. Once fungus is in the body, it can affect the immune system and aggravate the sinuses.
Medications - Side effects of certain medications may affect the functioning of the mucous membrane.
Nose blowing - Bacterial infections can be caused by pressure from blowing the nose too often and vigorously.
Scuba diving - Scuba diving during a cold can create too much pressure in the sinuses. This creates and leaves room for bacteria to grow.
Virus - Viral infections can paralyze or destroy the cilia so that they are unable to move mucus out of the nose.
Causes of chronic sinusitis
Anything that causes swelling in your sinuses or keeps the cilia from moving mucus can cause sinusitis. However, the causes of chronic sinusitis are largely unknown. Chronic sinusitis often occurs in people with asthma or allergies. Doctors also think that chronic sinusitis may be caused by:
Allergies - Allergies are usually caused by such as airborne particles, foods, animals, feathers, and fabrics. If the allergen is a food, fabric, or animal, simply avoiding the allergen will stop symptoms.
Asthma - Adults and children suffering from asthma are more susceptible to sinusitis.
Defective mucous membrane - Some people have poorly functioning mucous membranes that have been permanently damaged by a past infection.
Dehydration - Low quantities of liquid intake will result in dehydration. Without enough fluid in the body, mucus will thicken. This makes it difficult for the cilia to move it through the sinuses.
Hormones - In some instances, hormonal imbalances can lead to sinusitis.
Narrow sinuses - Some people simply have narrow sinus openings or a deviated septum. When there is swelling and where the sinuses are narrow it is even more difficult for air to pass through.
Polyps - The presence of polyps can be the cause of sinusitis. Polyps are mushroom shaped growths of the nasal lining that block the nasal corridors and usually need to be surgically removed.
Poor air quality- Pollution, fumes, dust, smoke or crowded living conditions can affect the function of the sinuses and mucous membrane.
Stress - Research demonstrates that the mucous membrane and sinuses can react to stress. One such condition is known is vasomotor rhinitis. In vasomotor rhinitis stress, rather than an infection or allergy, causes excessive swelling and mucus production.
Temperature and humidity - When temperature and humidity are extreme, or when air conditions change quickly, the sinuses can become irritated.
Tumors - One of the rarest causes of sinusitis are tumors. Tumors need to be surgically removed from the sinuses.
Weak immune system - When the immune system is not strong, the mucous membrane and cilia cannot do their job to fend off infections.
Anyone can get sinusitis. There are several risk factors that make developing the condition more likely. For example, overuse of decongestant nasal sprays, smoking, swimming or diving can increase the risk of getting sinusitis. Other risk factors for the development of sinusitis include:
What are the signs and symptoms of sinus nfection? The next section on sinusitis symptoms outlines the signs and symptoms of sinusitis for those who think that they may be experiencing the condition. We'll cover sinusitis symptoms here.
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