Sinusitis

Alternative Names

Acute sinusitis; Sinus infection; Sinusitis – acute; Sinusitis – chronic; Rhinosinusitis

Definition of Sinusitis

Sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses that occurs with a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The sinuses are air-filled spaces in the skull (behind the forehead, nasal bones, cheeks, and eyes) that are lined with mucus membranes. Healthy sinuses contain no bacteria or other germs. Usually, mucus is able to drain out and air is able to circulate.

Symptoms

The classic symptoms of acute sinusitis in adults usually follow a cold that does not improve, or one that worsens after 5 – 7 days of symptoms. Symptoms include:

Signs and tests

The doctor will examine you or your child for sinusitis by:

Treatment

SELF CARE

Expectations (prognosis)

Sinus infections are usually curable with self-care measures and medical treatment. If you are having recurrent attacks, you should be checked for underlying causes such as nasal polyps or other problems, such as allergies.

Review

Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 4/18/2010

Sinuses
Sinusitis

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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