Sinusitis

What is sinusitis?

Like all medical terms ending in “itis,” sinusitis is simply an inflammation or swelling of tissues, in this case in the sinus cavity. There are two kinds, acute (or acute bacterial) and chronic, which are similar in some but not all aspects:

  • Acute sinusitis is a sudden onset of cold symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion or facial pain.
  • Chronic sinusitis is an ongoing condition that may include nasal congestion, post-nasal drip and facial pain. Symptoms last for 12 weeks or more.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

Symptoms include:

  • Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat (post-nasal drip)
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain, pressure or swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead

Other signs and symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Sinus pain or pressure
  • Jaw or tooth pain
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Cough
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

In addition to inflammation, chronic sinusitis may include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Thick, discolored discharge from the nose or drainage down the back of the throat (post-nasal drip)
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste in adults or cough in children

Other signs and symptoms can include:

  • Ear pain
  • Sore throat
  • Cough, especially at night
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

As you can see, chronic and acute sinusitis may be similar and have some of the same symptoms, but acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses, mostly from the common cold. The symptoms of chronic sinusitis last longer, and because sleep may be disturbed, fatigue is a bigger factor. Fever isn’t a common sign of chronic sinusitis, but you might have one with acute sinusitis. For expert guidance on your condition, your symptoms and the best course of treatment for you, make an appointment with us today.