Sinusitis

Sinusitis, also called rhinosinusitis, occurs when viruses or bacteria infect the sinuses, often during a cold, and begin to multiply. The sinus tissues swell, blocking the ability to drain. Symptoms include a stuffy, congested or blocked nose, pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes.

It frequently starts with a common cold. Initially, sinusitis is acute causing sinus pain or facial pressure along with nasal congestion and sinus drainage. If left untreated it can become chronic. It is most commonly caused by bacteria and in less common cases caused by fungi.

Treatment usually requires therapy with an antibiotic, a nasal spray to relieve nasal congestion and inflammation and a drug to thin out the mucus to promote drainage. In more severe cases, surgical drainage of the sinuses may be necessary.

Chronic sinusitis usually requires long term antibiotic therapy. In cases that do not respond adequately, surgical intervention may be recommended. Before considering any sinus surgery, proper imaging and a discussion with an otolaryngologist is necessary.

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