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Sinus Related Articles > Who are susceptible to sinusitis?

Who are susceptible to sinusitis?

According to a 2000 study, 66 million American adults reported having some sinus problems during the year. The causes for the increases in upper respiratory problems are under intense debate.

Sinusitis is one of the most common diseases in the world. It is prevalent in most parts of the world affecting an estimated 15% of the population as a whole. Along with asthma, allergies, and other upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis has increased dramatically in the last century due to the degradation in the environment.

Air pollution due to dust and chemicals is found to be the cause for the alarming increase, while earlier it was the pollen, moulds and fungus.

Most people get viral colds and flu, and develop symptoms in the upper respiratory tract at some point in their lifetime. Over 85% of people with colds have inflamed sinuses. These inflammations are typically brief and mild, however, and only between 0.5% and 10% of people with colds really develop sinusitis.

A study suggests that nose blowing during a cold may transmit bacteria back into the sinuses and increase the risk for sinusitis.

Smaller nasal and sinus passages also make children more vulnerable to upper respiratory tract infections than older children and adults. True sinusitis is very rare in children under ten years. Experts believe that sinusitis is greatly overdiagnosed, particularly in children.

The elderly are at specific risk because their nasal passages tend to dry out with age. In addition, the cartilage supporting the nasal passages weakens causing airflow changes. They also have diminished cough and gag reflexes and faltering immune systems and are at greater risk for serious respiratory infections than are young and middle-aged adults.

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