What Causes Frequent Sinus Infections?

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Chronic sinus infections are one of the most common illnesses found around the world. Millions of people are diagnosed each year and many of those people suffer from frequent sinus infections. 

Sinus infections leave you feeling like an elephant is standing on your face and can come with a variety of unpleasant symptoms. But what is chronic sinusitis? What causes it and what can you do to prevent this uncomfortable illness from happening to you?

Read on for answers to these questions and more!

What is Sinusitis?

Sinuses are located in the front of the face. They extend from the forehead down towards the nose and nasal cavity. Sinusitis is classified into two categories, acute and chronic. 

Acute sinusitis lasts approximately one week, whereas chronic sinusitis can last for months. This illness is considered chronic once symptoms persist for 12 weeks. Acute sinusitis is most frequently caused by the common cold, but chronic sinusitis can have many more causes. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Pressure and swelling in your sinuses
  • Trouble smelling
  • Mucous accumulation in the nose or a runny nose
  • Tenderness or discomfort in the areas around your eyes, forehead, and cheeks
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the ears
  • Soreness in the throat

Symptoms will vary from person to person. But it’s best to keep track of the symptoms you feel to help your doctor in their diagnosis. 

Common Causes of Frequent Sinus Infections

In most cases, frequent sinus infections occur after you’ve had a cold or flu. Your body was busy fighting off another infection and the bacteria or virus that caused your sinus infection was able to gain traction. 

Recurring sinus infections develop for a wide variety of reasons. Below are the most common culprits for what caused your sinusitis. 


Hay fever, seasonal or environmental allergies, or similar irritants can all cause inflammation within your nasal passages. As the tissue gets more and more inflamed, the likelihood of an infection setting in gets higher. 


Polyps are tissue growths and occur in many areas of the body. However, when they grow inside your nose they can make it difficult to breathe and block your sinuses. This causes a fluid buildup that can lead to an infection. 

Deviated Septum

Sometimes your anatomy works against you. A deviated septum is the result of uneven tissue walls between your nostrils. It can limit airflow in one or both nostrils and contribute to the bacterial buildup that can cause infections.  


Respiratory tract infections, such as a cold, frequently cause inflammation in the nose and sinuses. They also make it much more difficult for mucus to drain from the nose, allowing bacteria to sit longer and potentially infect the surrounding tissue. 

Some Health Conditions

Asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), HIV, and cystic fibrosis often cause chronic sinusitis. Some health conditions block the nasal passages, cause excessive mucus buildup, or weaken the body’s ability to fight off diseases. This makes it much easier for sinus infections to set in. 

How to Treat and Prevent Sinus Infections

From short-term symptom relief to surgery, there are tons of options available to treat sinus infections and their symptoms. If you notice symptoms of a sinus infection, there are lots of ways you can ease the symptoms to prevent the infection from getting worse. 

Below are a few tips to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse.

  • Take a steamy shower — The steam helps reduce inflammation and will help clear the sinuses.
  • Warm compresses — A warm towel placed gently over your sinuses can help ease the pain.
  • Use a nasal spray — A nasal spray can keep your sinuses moist so you don’t experience painful dryness. Some can also reduce inflammation.
  • Get enough sleep — When you’re well-rested your body can fight off infections more easily. 
  • Drink Plenty of Water — Staying hydrated is essential to remaining healthy. Extra fluids in your body increase blood flow and allow your body to better fight off infection. 
  • Avoid polluted areas — Pollution is a major cause of sinus infections and irritation in the nasal cavity. If possible, avoid spending time in areas where air pollution is high. 

Despite your best efforts, some sinus infections can’t be prevented. One sinus infection may respond to at-home treatments, while others need medical attention. 

When to See a Doctor

If symptoms persist for several days and symptoms start to get worse, always consult a doctor. Oftentimes, a person will need prescription medication to get rid of a sinus infection. 

Doctors will usually prescribe antibiotics, pain killers, steroids, decongestants, and allergy medicine depending on the cause and severity of the infection. 

It’s tempting to wait and see if symptoms will go away by themselves, but severe symptoms should never be ignored. If your symptoms suddenly become severe and you notice a fever, swelling in the face, severe headache, confusion, double vision, or a stiff neck, talk to your doctor immediately. 

When to Visit a Specialist

Ear, nose, and throat doctors (ENTs) specialize in helping patients with illnesses in these areas. Sinus infections are one of the most common reasons patients are referred to these specialists. 

If the treatments your doctor prescribed don’t work or your sinus infections keep coming back, it’s time to visit an ENT. They will help you analyze why you suffer from frequent sinus infections and create a plan to lessen their severity and prevent them from happening again, if possible. 

Do You Suffer from Sinus Infections?

Frequent sinus infections are debilitating and no one wants to suffer through one much less many each year. We hope you have a better understanding of what causes sinus infections and how to get rid of them. 

Whether you have a sinus infection or a stomach bug, Kiwi Drug offers a wide variety of medicines to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible. Contact us today with any questions or shop our products if you already know exactly what you need!

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