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 Quiz Are you eating to control headaches? » Ask CyberDoc » Quiz Am I eating too much sugar? » Subscribe Newsletters » Medicines that changed history Common allergy myths 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 SPONSORED: Fedhealth What cover is right for you? 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 Parenting More babies born to mothers addicted to pain meds Medical 5 very bizarre medical inventions Fitness Genes determine which exercise is best Medical Rugby player's head Injuries linked to brain decline Medical Scientists question ethics of 'designer babies' Medical How smartphones are revolutionising eye care in Africa From our sponsors Is your baby dehydrated? How to tell. Taking charge of your health Man, take care of your health! Live healthier Healthy ears » A middle-ear microphone Deaf and drop-dead gorgeous The gift of hearing The strangest things found in people's ears Doctors have found some very weird things in patients' ears. We look at 7 strange things found in human ears . . . Live allergy free » 10 dog breeds for allergy sufferers Strange allergy cures Managing seasonal allergies Bust those allergies! All you need to know about relieving seasonal allergies.