A Link Between Sinusitis and Asthma?
Adult-onset asthma has often been called a medical mystery. It seems to strike with no apparent rhyme or reason, although several studies have correlated the syndrome with environmental pollution. Still, it wasn’t until recently that adult asthma had been strongly linked with other conditions such as sinusitis.
That changed in December with the publication of a major new study that found a definite link between adult asthma and a diagnosis of sinusitis in the prior twelve months. As the authors of the study put it:
“A strongly increased risk of asthma was detected especially in relation to lower respiratory tract infections, but all types of respiratory infections studied, i.e., common cold, sinusitis, otitis, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia increased the risk of asthma onset. . . . This could mean that reducing occurrence of respiratory infections might prevent onset of asthma in adulthood, especially in individuals with an atopic disease or hereditary propensity to it.”
Elsewhere they found reason to single out sinusitis as a factor, saying:
Significant increases in asthma risk were found when individual infections were considered separately. These included acute bronchitis, pneumonia, common cold, sinusitis, and otitis media. Only the adjusted OR for tonsillitis failed to reach significance.
What does this mean for typical sinus sufferers? Researchers aren’t sure yet – the sinusitis might in some way contribute to the onset of asthma, or it could be the canary in the coalmine that simply indicates a predisposition toward inflammatory disease. Either way, it underscores the point that sinusitis can be more serious than a cold or flu, and that proper treatment is essential to avoid health problems down the road. Contact your expert sinus surgeon today for a checkup.