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Dr. Green
It's not always possible to prevent chronic sinusitis, but there are ways to reduce the risk of developing the condition. Dr. Mansfield, can you tell us about some of these strategies?

Dr. Mansfield
Of course, Dr. Green. Because chronic sinusitis can develop as a result of an upper respiratory tract infection, it's important to avoid these kinds of infections. You can do this by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and objects, and minimizing contact with people who may have an upper respiratory infection.

Another way to reduce the risk for chronic sinusitis is to make sure allergic symptoms, especially those associated with allergic rhinitis, are well controlled. Try to avoid exposure to allergens, and take allergy medications when exposure is unavoidable.

Other air contaminants, such as cigarette smoke and car exhaust, can also irritate and inflame the lungs and nasal passages. Avoiding cigarette smoke and polluted air is another way to lower the risk of developing chronic sinusitis.

Finally, use a humidifier, especially in dry climates and in homes that have forced-air heating and cooling. Adding moisture to the air can help prevent inflammation in the sinuses. It's important to make sure the humidifier is kept clean and free of mold.