Infectious and non-infectious causes of sinusitis - Part one
On a predisposed field for infection, like a cold or a flu causing virus, sinuses disorders are usually caused by bacterial organisms. Sinusitis is mostly an acute case and can be well treated; in other cases though symptoms can persist and lead to a chronic damage, or several acute episodes of sinusitis occur showing the signs of a recurrent sinusitis.
A susceptible field for sinusitis is caused by the inflammation and congestion of the nasal passages in viral conditions called rhinitis. If the sinus cavities are obstructed, bacteria find a proper environment to develop and lead to infection. Because most cases of sinusitis are preceded by rhinitis, physicians tend to diagnose such conditions as rhino sinusitis.
Sinusitis usually affects the maxillary sinuses behind the cheek bones, the ethmoid sinuses between the eyes, the frontal sinuses and the sphenoid cavities behind the eyes.
All persons with a cold have inflamed sinuses but rarely does one develop sinusitis in consequence.
Some conditions however can lead to the development of chronic or recurrent sinusitis that might develop into a life-long condition:
1. An acute sinusitis untreated in time that has caused a permanent damage to the membrane layer.
2. A few chronic medical conditions causing inflammation in the upper airways and thick and stagnant mucus. Such diseases are diabetes, AIDS, hypothyroidism, Kartagenerís syndrome, cystic fibrosis.
In chronic sinusitis bacteria can play a direct, indirect or no role at all. According to a study on non-responsive to treatment patients, 30% of them had no infectious bodies in the nasal passages and 20% had other bacteria without signification for sinusitis.
Sinusitis is in many cases an allergic condition, caused by different inflammatory diseases such as asthma or allergies. The inflammatory response is triggered by injuries in acute sinusitis. In many cases sinusitis assembles to allergic rhinitis, showing they both have alike causes.
Although no specific connections have been established, sinusitis, allergies and asthma often present assembling symptoms. Allergic rhinitis often shows signs of sinusitis, but it can also cause true sinus infection by blocking the mucus inside the cavities.
Allergic asthma and chronic sinusitis can sometimes overlap; 53-75% of children suffering from allergic asthma show signs of sinus damage and 17-30% really develop sinusitis. Sometimes chronic sinusitis can itself cause the apparition of an allergic asthma.
Some genetic, congenital or gained nasal passage abnormalities can cause blockage in the sinus cavities and lead to sinus infections:
1. Small benign growths inside the nasal passage, called Polyps. These hinder the drainage of the mucus and restrict the incoming air. Polyps can be caused by the enlargement of nasal membranes due to a sinus infection.
2. Enlarged lymphatic tissue masses on the posterior wall of the pharynx, called adenoids. Their role is to annihilate foreign bodies in the inhaled air.
4. Cleft palate
5. Septum deviation with the central section of the nose deviated most common to the left.
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