Several types of source can cause rhinosinusitis. The problems can last only a short time, termed acute rhinosinusitis, or they can last for months of even years, called chronic rhinosinusitis. Different causes are susceptible to different treatments.
The environment contains extensive sources of nose and sinus irritants. Some of these can form biofilms, protective meshes that prevent the pathogens from being destroyed.
- Foods. Common food allergies that can induce rhinosinusitis include dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and other grains. An elimination diet, in which the person eats a simple diet, can reveal possible allergens.
- Alcohol can potentially aggravate sinus issues.
- Preservatives and other additives are believed by some people to affect sinuses.
- Weather can cause serious sinus issues. In particular, extremely high or low humidity and extremely cold or hot weather can cause problems. Sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, such as before a storm, can also aggravate problems.
- Stress. Various environmental stressors, from loud noises to busy work lives, can contribute to sinus problems. Sometimes stress relief can reduce rhinosinusitis.
- Glasses. Wearing spectacles applies additional pressure on the sinuses that can cause problems.
People are born with a set of genetic coding that can predispose the person towards rhinosinusitis. Additional biological developments throughout the course of life can cause sinus issues.
- Anatomical variations are abundant. Just as each person has a different fingerprint or face, each person has different sinuses.
- Small or otherwise malformed sinuses or nose.
- Some people argue that autistic personality types are associated with a particular frontal sinus problem. 
- Weak immune system.
- Deviated septum.
- Thyroid problems could cause imbalances in signaling in the body.