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 Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Diet and nutrition HPCSA to say why they instituted a disciplinary inquiry against Noakes Lifestyle 10 common health warnings you should not ignore Lifestyle No more smoking anywhere at DHL Newlands stadium News Department of health denies allegations of frozen posts Medical Sierra Leone discharges last known Ebola patient Medical Fentanyl: drug 50 times stronger than heroin causing havoc in US From our sponsors Why probiotics are beneficial for IBS Hearing aids on a windy day? No problem! A step-by-step guide on how to do pelvic floor exercises correctly Live healthier Get rid of lice! » Toddler dies after DIY lice treatment Back-to-school head lice Comb out head lice 20 head lice myths debunked Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live in human hair. They cannot fly, jump or swim and are spread by head-to-head contact. Check out this infographic to learn more. About gout » Treatment of Gout Signs and symptoms of gout What is Gout? Is your diet causing gout? Suffering from gout? There's a lot you can do to prevent this horribly painful condition. Start by cutting out these 14 foods.