Audiology | Otology / Ear Diseases | Pediatric Otolaryngology | Sleep Medicine / Disorders | Sinus | Head & Neck Surgery


What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining any sinus, especially one of the paranasal sinuses. Acute sinusitis is a short-term condition that responds to antibiotics and decongestants.  Chronic sinusitis is characterized by four recurrences of acute sinusitis or symptoms lasting greater than 3 months.


Signs and Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis symptoms include facial pressure/pain, nasal obstruction, nasal discharge, diminished sense of smell, and cough. Additionally, fever, bad breath, fatigue and dental pain may be symptoms of other sinus issues.  Most of these episodes are viral in origin. Bacterial infection might be present if symptoms worsen after 5 days, persist after 10 days or if the severity of symptoms seem out of proportion to a viral infection.  See the questionnaire below.


How is Acute Sinusitis Treated
If bacterial sinusitis is diagnosed, treatment usually involves the use of antibiotics for 10 to 14 days, in conjunction with saline sprays, decongestants, mucoevacuants and pain medications.


Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is defined by the nonresolution of symptoms lasting greater than 12 weeks. Facial pain/pressure, facial congestion/fullness, nasal obstruction/blockage, thick nasal discharge, post-nasal drainage, pus in the nasal cavity, and occasionally fever, suggest a chronic sinusitis problem. Sometimes, allergy problems can resemble chronic sinus problems. See below.


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