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Who Gets Sinusitis?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 15:12

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Sinusitis affects all age groups. Any healthy person can develop it, but certain groups are more prone to it than others.

  • Allergy sufferers are particularly prone to sinusitis, especially during hay fever seasons, or in environments where the air is filled with smoke or fumes. For some people, sinusitis will develop after eating a food to which they are allergic, or after exposure to allergens such as animal fur and dander.

    For more information about food allergies, go to Food Allergies & Interolance.

  • Adults and children who suffer from asthma are more likely to develop sinusitis.

    For more information about asthma, go to Asthma In Children or Asthma.

  • Some people are simply born with openings in the nose that are a bit too narrow and become easily blocked. Sometimes the small openings are the result of a deviated septum. The septum is the partition between the left and right sides of the nose. If this partition is crooked, the openings in the nose will be narrow.
  • A broken nose or other nose injury can cause a deviated septum, leaving less space on one side of the sinuses.
  • Smokers, or those who frequently inhale secondary smoke, are more likely to develop sinusitis.
  • Children with cystic fibrosis are particularly vulnerable to sinusitis because the disease creates abnormally thick mucus. The cilia then have a difficult time moving the thick mucus out of the body.
  • People with Kartagener's syndrome get both sinusitis and chronic chest infections. This is an extremely rare condition in which the cilia do not function properly.
  • People with low resistance to infection, a condition called immunodeficiency, are prone to sinusitis. In rare cases, a child can be born with immunodeficiency, but it is more likely caused by malnutrition or medications that impair the immune system. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS are diseases that cause immunodeficiency.

    For more information about AIDS, go to AIDS: What Is It?.

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