A risk factor is something that raises a person's chances of getting a disease or health problem. A person can have sinusitis with or without the risks below. The more risks a person has, the greater the chances are.

Risk factors for sinusitis are:


Smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke increases the risk of getting sinusitis.

Certain Medical Conditions

Health problems that raise the risk of sinusitis are:


Women have a higher risk of chronic sinusitis than men.

Environmental Factors

Possible risks for sinusitis include exposure to:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Air pollution


Flying and diving both increase the risk of getting sinusitis.


Acute rhinosinusitis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-rhinosinusitis-in-adults. Accessed November 15, 2021.

Chronic rhinosinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-rhinosinusitis. Accessed November 15, 2021.

Jaume F, Valls-Mateus M, et al. Common cold and acute rhinosinusitis: up-to-date management in 2020. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2020;20(7):28.

Sinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/sinusitis/. Accessed November 15, 2021.

Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/Conditions-Treatments/allergies/sinusitis. Accessed November 15, 2021.

Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 11/17/2021