What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. It is often caused by a bacterial (germ) infection. Sometimes, viruses and fungi (molds) cause it. People with weak immune systems are more likely to develop bacterial or fungal sinusitis. Some people with allergies can have "allergic fungal sinusitis." Acute sinus disease lasts three to eight weeks. Sinus disease lasting longer than eight weeks is considered chronic.
What are the symptoms of Sinusitis?

A bad cold is often mistaken for sinusitis (sinus disease). Many symptoms are the same, including:
  • Headache
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Postnasal drip
  • Discolored nasal discharge (greenish in color)
  • Nasal stuffiness or congestion
  • Tenderness of the face (particularly under the eyes or at the bridge of the nose)
How is Sinusitis diagnosed?

In most cases, Sinusitis can be diagnosed by personal history and physical examination. However, if bacterial Sinusitis is suspected, nasal swaps and CT scans may be obtained.
How is Sinusitis Treated?

Antibiotics are standard treatments for bacterial sinusitis. Antibiotics are usually taken from 3 to 28 days, depending on the type of antibiotic. Because the sinuses are deep-seated in the bones, and blood supply is limited, longer treatments may be prescribed for people with longer lasting or severe cases.

Some over-the-counter medications can also help provide relief. Some of these include nasal decongestant sprays, antihistamines and saline rinses.
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