sinusitis that results in damage to the mucous membranes.
disorders that cause inflammation in the airways or persistent
thickened stagnant mucus. Some of these include diabetes, AIDS
or other disorders of the immune system, hypothyroidism, cystic
fibrosis, Kartagener's syndrome, and Wegener's granulomatosis.
Abnormalities in the
nasal passage can cause blockage increasing the risk for chronic
sinusitis. Some include the following:
Deviated septum is
a common structural abnormality in which the septum, the center
section of the nose, is shifted to one side, usually the left.
Polyps are small benign
growths in the nasal passage. Polyps impede mucus drainage and restrict
Adenoids are masses of tissue located high on the posterior wall
of the pharynx. They are made up of lymphatic tissue, which trap
and destroy pathogens in the air that enter the nasopharynx.
Disease. Gastroesophageal acid reflux (GERD), a disorder in which
acid backs up from the stomach to the esophagus, has been noted
as a risk factor for a number of upper respiratory conditions. It
has been associated with sinusitis in children in a number of studies
and there is some suggestion that it may play a role in some adult
cases of chronic sinusitis. In a 2001 study over 4% of children
with GERD had sinusitis, and in a surprising 2000 study 63% of children
with chronic sinus problems had GERD. GERD, however, is very normal
in children, and some experts believe this association has no significance
for sinusitis or any other airway problems.
Asthma and Allergies.
Allergies, asthma, and sinusitis often overlap. Those with allergic
rhinitis (so-called hay fever and rose fever) often have symptoms
of sinusitis, and true sinusitis can develop as a result of the
mucus blockage it causes. A causal association, however, has not
been proved, and many experts believe allergies themselves rarely
predispose to sinusitis.
Severe asthma (which
is often associated with allergies) and chronic sinusitis often
overlap, although the relationship is unclear. Between 53% and 75%
of children with asthma caused by allergies have sinus abnormalities,
and various studies have shown that between 17% and 30% of asthmatic
patients develop true sinusitis. In fact, chronic sinusitis may
actually be the cause of asthma in some cases.