A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop sinusitis with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing sinusitis. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Risk factors for sinusitis include the following:
and being exposed to second-hand smoke increases your risk of developing sinusitis.
The following medical conditions increase your chances of getting sinusitis:
coldMedication, such as prolonged use of decongestant sprays
Nasal obstruction due to:
PolypsDeviated septumFacial bone abnormalitiesSwollen adenoidsCleft palateTumorAllergies
Certain chronic illnesses, including:
Cystic fibrosisKartagener’s syndrome (a disorder of the cilia throughout the body)Wegeners granulomatosisHIV infection
DiabetesImmotile cilia syndromeHead injury
or a medical condition requiring a tube inserted in the nose
In general, elderly people and young people have a higher risk of developing
acute bronchitis, including sinusitis.
Women have a greater chance of developing sinusitis than men.
Whites and blacks have a higher risk of developing sinusitis than do Hispanics.
Traveling to high altitudesAir pollutionLiving in the Midwest or southern United States
Flying and diving both increase your chance of getting sinusitis.
Alho OP. Viral infections and susceptibility to recurrent sinusitis.
Curr Allergy Asthma Rep.
Sinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at:
http://www.entnet.org/content/sinusitis. Accessed January 9, 2013.
Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website. Available at:
http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed January 9, 2013.
Last reviewed August 2015 by David Horn, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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