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Q.

What causes sinus problems?

Related Topics: Sinus
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

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A.

Sinus Blockages

Each sinus has a narrow spot, called the transition space (ostium), which is an opening that’s responsible for drainage. If a bottleneck or blockage occurs in the transition of any of the sinuses, you’re at risk of developing a sinus infection. Mucus backs up behind the blockage, and acts as a breeding ground for bacteria.

An Extra Sinus

About 10% of people have an extra sinus, which raises their risks for sinus infections. The extra sinus “effectively narrows that transition space,” says Ford Albritton, MD, FACS, chairman of otolaryngology at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.

Deviated Nasal Septum

Another common issue is a deviated nasal septum, the thin wall of bone and cartilage inside your nasal cavity that separates your two nasal passages. Ideally, your septum is situated in the center of your nose, equally separating the two sides. But whether from genetics or trauma (like a 6th grade fist fight), in about 80% of people, the nasal septum is displaced to one side, making one nasal passage smaller than the other. A deviated septum is one reason some people have chronic sinus issues. A deviated septum can also lead to obstructed breathing and snoring.

Narrow Sinuses

More widely, certain people just have variations in their anatomy that creates a longer, narrower path for the transition spaces to drain. “It’s pure genetics, since it’s the way we’ve inherited how our sinuses are put together and how easy or difficult it is for them to stay open or become blocked,” Albritton says.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: What Causes Sinus Problems?