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 Chronic Sinus Infection is sometimes difficult to distinguish from nasal allergy. Symptoms include nasal congestion, headache, loss of sense of smell, pressure or discomfort around the nose, cheeks or eyes and nasal discharge or drainage. The sinuses are hollow bony cavities in the skull that are connected to the nose. Paranasal sinuses produce a watery liquid that drains into the nose and is similar to the mucous produced by the nose. If the sinuses become blocked, and mucous does not drain, a chronic bacterial infection can establish itself in the sinuses. Nasal allergies are a risk factor for sinus infections because nasal swelling blocks the tiny sinus openings and prevents the sinuses from draining normally. Other causes of sinus infection include anatomical problems, cold viruses, deficiencies of infection-fighting antibodies and genetic disorders including cystic fibrosis and immotile cilia. Cilia are microscopic hairs on the surface of cells that line the nose and sinuses. They rhythmically move and beat to sweep mucous out of the sinuses and nose. Immotile cilia are unable to mechanically remove secretions that accumulate in the nose and respiratory tract. It occurs with varying degrees of severity. Mild cases can have chronic sinus infections that are difficult to eradicate. More severe cases of immotile can be associated with recurrent pneumonias that lead to collapse of the breathing tubes and damage to lung alveoli. Infertility in men is also associated with immotile cilia because the sperm are unable to swim with abnormal cilia. Diagnosis usually is made by examining tissue with an electron microscope that can magnify tissue tens of thousand times. Cystic fibrosis is caused by an inherited abnormality of mucous production that results in a very thick or viscous mucous that cannot be cleared from the respiratory tract, nasal passages or sinuses. This tenacious mucous prevents normal drainage of the sinuses and lungs. The end result is chronic lung and sinus infections that can be destructive over the long term. Fortunately, new antibiotics and other treatment are improving the prognosis of cystic fibrosis. Whatever the cause, proper treatment requires identification of the underlying cause of the infection. Antibiotics are usually required for up to eight weeks. Long term treatment may involve aggressive control of underlying allergy with desensitization or allergen immunotherapy. ‹ Atopic Dermatitis (AD)upContact Dermatitis (eczema) › Add child page | Printer-friendly version