most often the result of a
viral infection that causes the
mucous membrane lining the inside of the nose and the
sinuses to become
- The mucous membrane swells when it becomes
inflamed, blocking the drainage of fluid from the sinuses into the nose and
- Mucus and fluid build up inside the
sinuses, causing pressure and pain.
- Bacteria are more likely to
grow in sinuses that are unable to drain properly.
Bacterial infection in the sinuses often causes more
inflammation and pain.
While colds usually trigger this process, any factor that
causes the mucous membrane to become inflamed may lead to sinusitis. Many
people with nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis), for instance, are
likely to have recurring or long-term (chronic) sinus infections. Nasal
polyps, foreign objects (usually in children),
structural problems in the nose such as a
deviated septum, and other conditions can also block
the nasal passages, increasing the risk of developing sinusitis.
Fungal infections may also cause sinusitis. This is
especially true in people with
impaired immune systems. Fungal sinusitis tends to be
chronic and more difficult to treat than bacterial sinusitis.
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