Home > Medical > Sinusitis > About sinusitis Updated 16 July 2014 8 quick sinusitis facts Is sinusitis making your life miserable? Get some quick facts right here. 0 iStock Is it a cold, sinusitis or flu? » How do you treat acute sinusitis? Sinusitis can make your life truly miserable. Here's what you need to know about this condition.Anything interfering with airflow into and drainage of mucus out of the sinuses can cause sinusitis. The sinus openings may be obstructed by anything, causing swelling of tissue lining the ostia and adjacent nasal passage, such as colds, allergies and tissue irritants (such as over-the-counter nasal sprays, cigarette smoke and recreational substances snorted through the nose). Allergies may complicate sinusitis. Drainage of mucus can be impaired by thickening of secretions, decrease in mucus hydration (water content) because of disease, drying medications (antihistamines), and lack of air humidity. Irritants, especially smoke, may damage cilia, and prevent them from assisting with mucus drainage. Stagnated mucus provides an ideal environment for bacteria and in some cases (such as AIDS) fungus to grow. Other irritants include car exhaust, petrol and paint fumes, perfume, insect spray and household chemicals. Sinuses can become obstructed by tumours or growths. Nasal polyps (growths arising from mucous surfaces), probably caused by nasal inflammation, can block the ostia. Occasionally, immune problems cause sinus infections. If you have persistent sinus infections, have your immune system evaluated by an allergist/immunologist, especially before surgery is done. You may need allergy tests, and tests to ensure you can form antibodies to common bacteria normally. Sinusitis can be due to AIDS, although only an extremely small percentage of people with sinusitis have AIDS. Health24 Sinusitis A - Z More in Medical Unravelling the secrets of the nose More: SinusitisAbout sinusitis advertisement Get a quote Fedhealth - What cover is right for you? Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical Taking St. John's wort for depression not risk free Lifestyle Badger passes out drunk on Polish beach Medical Nasal balloon a possible solution for 'glue ear' Diet and nutrition FDA approves stomach-filling balloon for weight loss Lifestyle Consumers shower and sleep with smartphones Parenting Should aborted foetuses be used for stem cell research? From our sponsors Keeping your skin soft, moisturised and winter-ready The health benefits of donating blood Hydration is vital all year round Momentum Health: an industry leader in healthcare Live healthier Cure your cough » Diagnosing a chronic cough The most abused over-the-counter drug in SA Five of the weirdest things to cause a cough Why are you coughing? A cough can be a symptom of a wide variety of different health conditions, ranging from a foreign body to infective diseases and even cancer. Watch out! » How to make a prosthetic eye Woman loses eyesight after mud run Eye care during pregnancy 9 health warnings you can pick up from your eyes The eyes are not only for seeing - they can reveal secrets to underlying health issues. Take a careful look and see if you have any of these symptoms, and if you do, head off to the doctor straight away.