Second Hand Smoking Increases The Risk of Chronic Sinusitis

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Sinus or paranasal sinuses are air cavities within the cheek bones, around the eyes and behind the nose.  When sinuses become inflamed, the condition is referred to as sinusitis.  This inflammation causes pressure and the affected person feels it in eyes, nose, cheeks and ear regions.  The affected person may also suffer from nasal congestion, fever and cough.  

Inhaling tobacco smoke, commonly referred to as “smoking”, is injurious to health.  It is a universally accepted fact.  This smoke is proved to contain various carcinogens (cancer causing substances) and other irritants.  It contains more than 4000 substances, out of which 50 or more are known or suspected carcinogens.  Unfortunately people who do not smoke also end up getting harmed, thanks to the smokers around them at home, work, public places or at other private social functions.  Many of these “second hand smokers” are children.  60 per cent of non smokers are affected by second hand smoking in the Unites States of America alone.  

Second hand smoking or passive smoking is causing many diseases in adults and children.  Some of them include sudden infant death syndrome, middle ear disease, asthma, acute respiratory infections, lung cancer, sinus cancer and heart related ailments.  Researchers at Brock University, Ontario, have concluded that 40 per cent of chronic rhinosinusitis (sinusitis lasting 12 weeks or more) is due to second hand smoking.  The research was conducted under the leadership of Dr. C. Martin Tammemagi, D V M, M.Sc, Ph. D.  The research report was published in April 2010 issue of “Archives of Otylaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery”.  They also continue to say that inhaling the smoke might increase the risk of respiratory infections in healthy individuals.  It will worsen the condition of people suffering from respiratory infections.  Smoke is found to have an adverse impact on the immune system.  It increases the permeability of the cells lining the respiratory tract.  

This is definitely alarming and calls for action as it is a threat to public health.  Governments all over the world should ban smoking in public places and also should educate the people regarding the dangers of second hand smoking.  Smokers – as responsible individuals – should avoid smoking when they see people around them.  It is best if they stop smoking for the good of everyone, including themselves.  



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