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Why Do I Keep Getting Sinus Infections?

Facial pain, headaches, trouble breathing — sinusitis isn’t exactly a walk in the park. In fact, sinus infections lead to about 73 million restricted-activity days each year in the United States.

If you’re among the nearly 29 million adults in the U.S. who have chronic sinusitis, you’re tired of experiencing these “restricted activity” days, and you want answers. And we have them.

Here at Houston Sinus Surgery, board-certified physicians Dr. Cecil Yeung and Dr. Marcus Hershey, excel in helping patients with recurrent sinusitis breathe easier.

If you’re experiencing sinus infections more often than you’d like, our first step is to figure out what’s behind the recurring problem. Here, we briefly explain sinusitis and review some of the more common culprits.

Sinusitis basics

You have four pairs of sinuses in your head, which produce mucus to filter the air you breathe. When you have an infection, the lining of your sinuses becomes inflamed, and mucus doesn’t drain out, leaving fluids to build up in these hollow cavities.

As a result, you can experience pressure in your face, nasal congestion, sinus headaches, post-nasal drip, and more.

Most common causes of recurrent sinusitis

Millions of people experience recurrent sinusitis, which are frequent sinus infections — at least four each year — with periods of relatively good sinus health in between. The most common culprits behind these frequent infections include:

1. Viral infections

If you’re in an environment where you’re susceptible to colds and flus — such as if you have kids or you’re exposed to many people — then you have a higher chance of developing sinus infections that often accompany viral infections.

2. Allergies

If you have seasonal rhinitis, which is a fancy way of saying hay fever, the allergens can irritate your sinuses and lead to inflammation and infection. These infections strike along with the seasons, such as during the spring when pollen is flying or in the autumn when leaves are falling.

3. Asthma

If you’re among the nearly 26 million people in the U.S. who have asthma, this airway disorder can lead to frequent sinus infections.

4. Structural issues

There are certain structural issues that can leave you more vulnerable to sinusitis, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps. You might also have small sinuses that don’t respond well to excess mucus.

5. Autoimmune disorders

If your immune system is compromised in any way, problems like sinus infections can develop more easily.

Solutions for recurrent sinusitis

As you can see from the list above, it’s important to first figure out what’s driving your frequent sinus infections so we can come up with an appropriate treatment plan. For example, if allergies are driving your infections, we’ll work toward controlling your allergies.

If a structural issue is behind your recurrent sinusitis, we may resolve the problem through functional endoscopic sinus surgery or a balloon sinuplasty.

As you can see, there are solutions, and our goal is to stop the next sinus infection from restricting your life.

For expert care of your recurrent sinusitis, please call or book an appointment online with Houston Sinus Surgery today.

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