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Allergy and sinus disease

William B Smith and Peter-John Wormald
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (10): 572.
Published online: 20 November 2006

Does allergy predispose to acute infectious sinusitis? Some patients report sinus infections during the hayfever season, and it is commonly supposed that congestion associated with allergic rhinitis can predispose to infectious sinusitis by interfering with the function of the sinus ostia. However, there is no good evidence to support this hypothesis, and no good evidence that specific treatment by allergen avoidance or immunotherapy (or even non-specific treatment with continuous topical corticosteroids) can prevent acute infectious sinusitis in people who do not have underlying chronic sinusitis. Most episodes of acute sinusitis are sequelae to viral upper respiratory tract infections. However, topical corticosteroids are an effective adjunct to antibiotic therapy in cases of acute infectious sinusitis, with or without coexisting allergy (Level II).1

  • William B Smith1
  • Peter-John Wormald2,3

  • 1 Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.
  • 3 Department of Surgery — Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Adelaide and Flinders University, Adelaide, SA.

Correspondence: wsmith@mail.rah.sa.gov.au

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