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The following actions may help to reduce your risk of sinusitis:

Stop Smoking

Smoking interferes with the normal defenses in your respiratory tract that protect against infection. If you stop smoking, your respiratory tract will slowly heal itself. Ask your doctor about programs and nicotine replacement systems that can help you stop smoking.

Furthermore, exposure to both second-hand smoke and air pollution can make you more prone to sinusitis. Avoid both types of exposures to improve your respiratory health.

Avoid Infections

Although there is no evidence that you can avoid getting sinus infections, here are some basic steps that may help you avoid infections in general:

Filter and Humidify the Air

Keeping your air humidified may help prevent your sinuses and respiratory tract from becoming overly dry. This may help reduce your chance of developing sinusitis. Furthermore, you may wish to use an air purifier to keep the air you breathe as clean. These measures may improve your respiratory health.

Treat Your Allergies

If you suspect that you have allergies, get tested and talk to your doctor about treatment. Keeping your allergy symptoms to a minimum can help you decrease your susceptibility to respiratory tract infections, including sinusitis.

Discuss Sinus Surgery

Corrective surgery for deviated septum or surgical removal of the blockage in your sinus will prevent future episodes of chronic or recurrent sinusitis.

Use Nasal Decongestant Spray

If you have had trouble with sinusitis after flying, talk to your doctor about using a nasal decongestant spray 15 minutes before takeoff and landing. If possible, avoid flying when you have a cold.

References:

Acute Sinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated December 18, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2013.

Chronic Sinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated December 18, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2013.

Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.

Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed January 9, 2013.

Sinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/Sinusitis.cfm. Accessed January 9, 2013.



Last reviewed August 2013 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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