Asthma and sinusitis are two common conditions that a person may experience at the same time. Sinusitis can trigger asthma, and a person with asthma may be more likely to develop sinusitis.
Typically, a person with severe asthma could have a
This article discusses the link between asthma and sinusitis, treatments available for both conditions, and when a person should consult a doctor.
Research suggests that
If a person with asthma develops sinusitis, it can make asthma symptoms more difficult to manage, including:
Managing asthma symptoms reduce the risk of developing sinusitis.
Although viral infections are the most common cause of sinusitis, asthma can also cause sinusitis.
A person with asthma is more likely to develop sinus issues such as sinusitis and nasal polyps. This is because asthma is more likely to inflame a person’s airways.
An individual can work with a healthcare professional to develop an appropriate treatment plan for their asthma and sinusitis.
Several treatments are available for asthma — some for the quick relief of asthma symptoms during an asthma attack and other long-term treatments to help reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks.
Quick relief treatments for asthma
- Reliever inhaler: An inhaler typically contains short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs) that open the airways during an asthma attack.
- Corticosteroids: A can reduce swelling in the airways.
- Short-acting anticholinergics: These can help open the airways quickly during an asthma attack.
Long-term treatments for asthma can include:
- Corticosteroids: These can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Biologics: A person may inject these medications into a vein or under the skin.
- Leukotriene modifiers: These medications can reduce swelling and help keep the airways open, such as montelukast.
- Mast cell stabilizers: A healthcare professional may suggest adding medications such as cromolyn sodium to an inhaler to help prevent swelling in the airways.
- Long-acting bronchodilators: Adding medications such as long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs) or long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) to an inhaler can help prevent the airways from narrowing.
- Allergy shots: A person may consider immunotherapy to reduce the effect of allergens on the body.
Learn more about treatments for asthma.
A person may be able to treat sinusitis with over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies. If sinusitis symptoms persist, a person may want to visit a healthcare professional.
The National Health Service in the United Kingdom recommends the following actions and treatments for sinusitis:
- drinking plenty of fluids
- pain relievers
- steam inhalation
- quitting smoking, if applicable
- avoiding allergic triggers
- saline nasal rinse
- decongestant nasal sprays or drops
- salt water nasal sprays
- steroid nasal sprays
- antihistamines if due to an allergy
- antibiotics if due to a bacterial infection
People with asthma require regular checkups and need to inform a healthcare professional if their asthma attacks increase in frequency or severity.
They should speak with a healthcare professional as soon as possible if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- feeling faint
- difficulty performing usual daily activities
- a persistent cough
A person should call 911 or go to the emergency room if they experience any of the following asthma symptoms:
- lips or nails turning blue
- flaring nostrils on every inhale
- stretched-looking skin between the ribs or at the base of the throat on every inhale
- breathing 30 or more times in a minute
- if talking or walking at a usual pace becomes difficult
A person experiencing symptoms of sinusitis should also consult a healthcare professional if they have multiple sinus infections over the course of a year or have any of the
- severe headaches
- severe facial pain
- symptoms that have worsened after improving
- symptoms that have lasted more than 10 days
- a fever that has lasted 3–4 days
Research suggests a link between asthma and sinusitis, with 22–45% of people living with asthma also experiencing chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis can also trigger asthma symptoms.
Several medications can help relieve symptoms of both conditions, including antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays.