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:
Smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke increases your risk of developing sinusitis.
Certain Medical Conditions
The following medical conditions increase your chances of getting sinusitis:
- A recent cold
- Medicine, such as prolonged use of decongestant sprays
- Nasal obstruction due to:
- Certain chronic illnesses, including:
- Head 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 altitudes
- Air pollution
- Living in the Midwest or southern US
Flying and diving both increase your chance of getting sinusitis.
Acute rhinosinusitis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-rhinosinusitis-in-adults. Updated September 12, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Alho OP. Viral infections and susceptibility to recurrent sinusitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2005;5(6):477-481
Chronic rhinosinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-rhinosinusitis. Updated August 7, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Sinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/sinusitis. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP Last Updated: 12/2/2020