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 Order in which food is eaten affects blood sugar Medical Vitamin D supplementation may slow HIV progression Medical Longer schooling slows Aids spread in Botswana Parenting High-achieving children have their parents to thank Lifestyle Emo teens and the rising suicide rate in SA Medical Insulin pump may cut risk of heart disease deaths for diabetics From our sponsors Soothe your family’s coughs and colds Why hydration is important while exercising Taking charge of your health Man, take care of your health! Live healthier Up for grabs » Win with NuSeed Win with MySmartkid Win a Canderel hamper Win a LED 3D smart TV Stand a chance of winning a Samsung UA55H8000 Smart 55 inch Curved LED TV valued at R20 000 from Save Hyper! Medical marijuana » 'I used cannabis oil to cure my cancer' Could your doctor could be high? Dagga in medicine? Medicinal dagga: the dangers can't be ignored There is not sufficient evidence to support the potential medicinal benefit from cannabis use cautions an academic from Stellenbosch University.