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Allergic & Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the mucous membranes that line the sinus cavities. Sinuses are part of the upper respiratory system. Adults and older children have four groups of sinus cavities located within the bones surrounding the nose. Very young children have small sinus passages and cavities rather than fully formed sinuses. Under normal daily conditions, the sinuses produce up to 1.5 liters of mucus per day. Allergy, infection or environmental triggers may increase mucus production or change the characteristics of the mucus in the nose causing blockage of the sinuses that leads to infection.

Sinusitis accounts for approximately 20% of office visits to specialists in Allergy and Immunology. In one study, 55% of patients with sinusitis also had a history of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

Symptoms of sinusitis may include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Green or gray nasal discharge
  • Postnasal drip
  • Pressure in the face
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • A cough that won’t go away

Sinusitis is common in the winter. It may last for months if not properly treated. Colds are the most common cause of acute sinusitis, but people with allergies are much more likely to develop sinusitis than people who do not have allergies.

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