Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses are inflamed due to fungal, viral or bacterial infections

Sinusitis is the inflammation of sinuses, caused by infection, allergies, air pollution or structural problems in the nose. The symptoms of sinusitis include thick nasal mucus, plugged nose, pain in the face, fever, headache, sore throat, cough and reduced sense of smell. It is considered as acute, when it lasts for less than 4 weeks, and chronic when it lasts for more than 12 weeks. Sinusitis may recur in people with asthma, cystic fibrosis and poor immune function. It can be prevented by hand washing, avoiding smoking and immunization.


Acute sinusitis is caused by common cold, which may be of bacterial or viral origin. Chronic sinusitis may occur due to nasal polyps, deviated nasal septum, respiratory tract infections and allergies.


Nasal obstruction or congestion is usually seen in people with sinusitis. Other symptoms of sinusitis include yellow or greenish discharge from the nose, pain and swelling around the eyes, ear pressure and headache, reduced sense of taste and smell, bad breath, fatigue and fever. When these symptoms persist, you should immediately consult a doctor.


Sinusitis may occur in people with allergic conditions, nasal passage abnormality (deviated nasal septum and nasal polyps), cystic fibrosis, asthma, aspirin sensitivity, and falling immunity in those affected by HIV/AIDS. The complications of sinusitis are evident as acute form turning into chronic sinusitis, bone and skin infection, inflammation of brain and spinal cord and loss of smell.


The doctor looks for signs and symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis. If the symptoms persist for fewer than 10 days it is categorized as viral. If the symptoms last more than 10 days it is considered as bacterial. For acute sinusitis, the doctor may recommend X-ray, CT or MRI to confirm on the occurrence of sinusitis. Nasal endoscopy and collection of tissue sample is done to confirm the presence of chronic sinusitis. Sinusoscopy may also be recommended in rare cases.


 The doctor looks for signs and symptoms of sinusitis. Rest and drinking enough water are suggested to thin the mucus. Breathing low-temperature steam and gargling lukewarm salt water can provide the needful relief from distressing symptoms of sinusitis. In some cases, antibiotics, decongestants and pain relievers are prescribed by the doctor. Endoscopic sinus surgery may be an option when there is resistance to medication.