What Causes Sinus Infections?
What Causes Sinus Infections?Most of the time, acute sinus infections are caused by an infection with a virus (this is known as acute viral sinusitis). The same virus will also often cause common cold symptoms at the same time.
Other, less common, causes of acute sinus infections include:
- An infection with bacteria (known as acute bacterial sinusitis), usually as a complication of viral sinusitis (see Sinusitis Risk Factors for more things that increase a person's chances of developing a sinus infection, such as allergies)
- An infection with fungus (see Fungal Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)).
Healthcare providers once believed that bacteria were the main cause of a chronic sinus infection. What they have come to learn, however, is that it is a lot more complex than just a simple infection. Researchers continue to look for the exact cause or causes of chronic sinusitis.
Researchers do know that certain things increase the likelihood for long-term inflammation and swelling of the sinus and nasal passages, and the inability for the sinuses to drain properly.
(Click Sinusitis (Sinus Infection) Causes for more information, including what increases a person's risk for both acute and chronic sinus infections.)