Sinusitis is inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the sinuses. It affects more than 30 million people at least once each year, making it one of the most common illnesses in the United States.
Overview and Symptoms
- Nasal obstruction, congestion or fullness, which can cause difficulty breathing
- Facial pain/pressure
- Sinus headache
- Discolored nasal or postnasal discharge of varying colors and thickness
- Decreased sense of smell
- Ear Pressure
- Tooth Pain
There are two types of sinusitis conditions:
- Acute Sinusitis: refers to a sudden onset infection, with fewer than four weeks of symptoms. Acute Sinusitis is the more common of the two.
- Chronic Sinusitis: refers to symptoms of sinusitis lasting longer than 12 weeks.
Diagnosing sinusitis includes an exam by your doctor that may comprise of X-rays and CT-Scans to look into the sinuses. Other diagnostic methods may also include nasal and sinus cultures, allergy testing, and nasal endoscopy, where the physician looks up your sinuses using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope.
Treatment of sinusitis is individualized, depending on your symptoms and findings of evaluation.
Medications are first-line treatment for chronic sinusitis. Both over the counter and prescription medications are available and effective in many cases.
If medications fail to create improvement, sinus surgery may be recommended.
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