Sinusitis and Asthma: What’s The Connection?

Sinusitis and Asthma Sinusitis and asthma are both common conditions that impact the airways. For people with asthma, a normal case of sinusitis can increase the risk of asthma attacks. Let’s learn more about the connection between sinusitis and asthma, as well as how asthma sufferers can manage their symptoms with sinusitis. 

Understanding Sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed. Symptoms of sinusitis include nasal congestion, a runny nose, facial pain or pressure, and headaches. Sinusitis can even lead to pain in the teeth and bad breath. 

The sinuses are hollow areas in the facial bones around the nasal cavity. The purpose of the sinuses is to filter and warm air so that it’s ready to reach the lungs. With the inflammation that occurs with sinusitis, the mucus accumulates in the sinuses and may block the drainage tracts. 

Understanding Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that impacts the lungs’ airways. During an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed and develop excess mucus. Inflammation in the airways makes them narrower and makes breathing difficult. This leads to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. 

About 5 to 10% of cases of asthma are severe. In addition to the standard asthma symptoms, severe asthma can lead to chronic sinus infections, a lost sense of smell, and nasal polyps. 

The Connection Between Sinusitis and Asthma

Sinusitis and asthma attacks can both be caused by inflammation due to an allergen or irritant. So, for people with asthma, attacks may occur with a normal case of sinusitis. Sinusitis can also trigger an asthma attack due to postnasal drip, which can lead to coughing and eventually cause an asthma attack. Additionally, for people with severe asthma, the condition increases the risk of developing a sinus infection. With a sinus infection, regular symptoms of asthma can become more difficult to manage. 

At Kratz Allergy & Asthma, Dr. Kratz provides personalized treatment plans for asthma, severe asthma, and sinusitis. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us today