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.
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:
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.
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