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Risk Factors for Sinusitis

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Sinusitis

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.


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.


  • David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.