Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus cavities. The sinus cavities are air-filled spaces in the skull. It is usually associated with infection.
Sinusitis is called acute if it lasts for less than 4 weeks, subacute if it lasts 4-12 weeks, and chronic if symptoms last for more than 3 months. You may have recurrent sinusitis if you have repeated bouts of acute sinusitis.
Infectious sinusitis is caused by a bacterial, viral, or (rarely) fungal infection of fluid in the sinus cavities.
Factors that may increase your chance of sinusitis include:
Sinusitis may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Sinusitis is diagnosed based on its symptoms and tenderness of the sinuses when pressed.
Tests may include:
You have may acute sinusitis when the following occurs:
Surgery is a last resort for people with very troublesome, serious chronic sinusitis. It includes:
To help reduce your chance of sinusitis:
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Allergy Asthma Information Association
Calgary Allergy Network
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http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/Pages/index.aspx. Accessed September 29, 2014.
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Last reviewed August 2015 by David Horn, MD
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