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 Scientists turn to aspirin to turbo-charge cancer immunotherapy Medical MDR-TB treatment comes closer, but not close enough Medical Electricity, better than chemotherapy? Lifestyle The dangers of smokeless tobacco Multimedia Doctors Without Borders (MSF) rescue migrants in distress in the Mediterranean Sea Medical Epileptic girl becomes Mexico's first legal consumer of medical marijuana From our sponsors Is your baby dehydrated? How to tell. Fifty and fabulous! There’s something newly cool about turning 50 Keeping your skin soft, moisturised and winter-ready Live healthier Your health » How well do you know the body? Your healthy liver lifestyle Are you healthy? Tell us about your health and you could win R5000. Up for grabs » Tell us about your health Stay warm when the lights go out Win R1000 in cash! Win an energy-saving Spindel Enter our competition and stand a chance of winning an energy saving Spindel valued at R2200!