What causes sinusitis (sinus infection)?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Retained mucus, when infected, leads to sinusitis. Another mechanism hypothesizes that because the sinuses are continuous with the nasal cavity, colonized bacteria in the nasopharynx may contaminate the otherwise sterile sinuses. These bacteria are usually removed by mucociliary clearance; thus, if mucociliary clearance is altered, bacteria may be inoculated and infection may occur, leading to sinusitis. [8, 5]

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