Sinusitis, causes and risk factors

When a person has a lot of mucus, he tends to think that he has caught a cold or constipation. But the moment that mucus lengthens over time, it becomes thicker and yellowish or greenish in color, in some cases brown, it gets stuck and causes pain in the areas near the nose, both lateral and superior, it can be sinitutis.

Sinusitis It is no longer a simple cold, it is something else, an inflammation of the sinuses, which can affect children and adults alike. Although it is very normal to confuse both pathologies, as well as the headache that accompanies episodes of nasal obstruction or constipation, it is necessary that people begin to know the characteristics of each one because the treatment is different.


The confusion may be due to the fact that, on many occasions, the catarrh leads to this inflammation of the sinuses, but there are other causes of the sinusitis that have no relation to colds.

What is sinusitis?

Dr. Daniel Poletti of Dr. Ortiz's team of the Otorhinolaryngology Service of the Hospital La Milagrosa in Madrid, clarifies all questions about the sinusitis.

1. The origin is different. Generally, the mucosa that covers the paranasal sinuses (frontal, ethmoidal, sphenoidal and maxillary) becomes inflamed due to an infection caused by a virus, a bacterium or a fungus, while a constipation is the result of the action of a virus.


2. It arises when there is infection. This inflammation of the mucosa blocks the natural drainage of the mucus and it becomes infected, initiating the symptomatology.

3. The duration also varies. While a cold lasts between three and five days, the time of evolution of sinusitis varies, so it is known as:

- Acute sinusitis: when it happens in less than three weeks and is usually caused by bacteria

- Subacute sinusitis: with a duration of between 4 and 12 weeks

- Chronic sinusitis: the sinusitis lasts for more than three months, being the trigger a fungus or a bacterium

Causes that generate a sinusitis

The blockage of the opening (drainage orifices) of the sinuses and / or the accumulation of an excess of mucus is the perfect situation for the pathogens responsible for sinusitis to proliferate, to which are added different situations and factors that influence their appearance as colds and allergies, disorders in the nasal septum (deviated, for example) and problems (alterations in movement) in the hair of the sinuses (cilia) that do not eliminate excess mucus.


In any case, the most common causes of sinusitis or sinus infection are:

- Virus: One of the main causes is the common cold, usually triggered by a viral infection.

- Bacteria: microorganisms that generate and maintain the disease, which respond to antibiotic treatment.

- Sinusitis nosocomial, due to circumstances such as intubation or nasogastric catheterization (after dental procedures such as implants that alter the maxillary sinus)

Risk factors for sinusitis

There are situations or habits that can make a person the perfect target for a sinusitis:

- Smoke
- Suffer cystic fibrosis
- Allergic rhinitis
- Having large adenoids (lymphatic tissue of the upper respiratory tract)
- Weak immune system, such as being infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Having received or being undergoing chemotherapy treatment may be some predisposing factors for sinusitis.
- Dental procedures (sinus lifts, implants, etc.)

Marina Berrio
Advice:Dr. Daniel Poletti of the Dr. Ortiz team of the Otorhinolaryngology Service of the Hospital La Milagrosa in Madrid

Video: Migraine? Chronic Sinusitis, Dizziness, Ear/Eye Pain/Pressure, Abnormal Hearing/Smell/Taste/Touch


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