Chronic Sinusitis: Introduction
Chronic sinusitis is a long-term ongoing or recurring inflammation of the air-filled spaces that are located within the bones in and around the nose. These spaces are called paranasal sinuses, and when they get infected, they become inflamed. This results in swelling of the mucus membranes that line the sinuses, which causes pain and pressure in and around the eyes and cheekbones.
Chronic sinusitis differs from acute sinusitis in that chronic sinusitis occurs for more than a couple of months or continues to recur while acute sinusitis is short-lived and does not recur. Both chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis can result from a viral infection, bacterial infection, or rarely, a fungal infection of the sinuses. Risk factors for the development of chronic sinusitis include having nasal polyps, nasal tumors, deviated nasal septum, asthma, and allergies.
An infection occurs when the body's immune system is unable to stop the multiplying of harmful bacteria, viruses or fungi that have been introduced into the sinuses. This results in the inflammation of the sinuses and symptoms, such as facial pain and pressure and thick greenish mucus that is discharged from the nose. Severe complications that affect the brain may also occur. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
Making a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and a physical examination that focuses on the nose and sinuses. Findings include swelling and inflammation of the sinuses and thick greenish nasal mucus. Diagnostic testing may include imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT, which can confirm a diagnosis and reveal the severity of the condition. A nasal endoscopy may be performed to look at the inside of the nose and sinuses.
If chronic sinusitis is suspected to be caused by allergies, a referral is made to a specialist called an allergist for further diagnosis and treatment of the underlying allergy. It is possible that a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis can be missed or delayed because the symptoms can be mild or be similar to symptoms of conditions and diseases, such as migraine headache or upper respiratory infection. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic sinusitis, refer to misdiagnosis of chronic sinusitis.
Treatment of sinusitis varies depending on the cause, severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, a person's medical history. Treatment may include medications and possibly surgery in some cases. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of chronic sinusitis. ...more »
Long term or recurring inflammation of the sinuses. Chronic forms of the condition usually mean that symptoms have persisted for three months or longer. Chronic sinusitis is often associated with allergies. ...more »
Chronic Sinusitis: Symptoms
The way that chronic sinusitis affects people can vary, but typical symptoms include headache, pain or pressure in the face or area in and around the eyes, greenish nasal discharge, swelling around the nose and eyes and eyelids and fatigue. Pain and headache may be worse when bending over or lying down. Symptoms can also resemble a toothache in the ...more symptoms »
Chronic Sinusitis: Treatments
The first step in treatment of sinusitis is prevention. Prevention measures include adequate diagnosis and treatment of allergies, avoiding exposure to infections, and good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing and not picking the nose.
The most successful treatment plan for chronic sinusitis uses a multipronged approach aimed at relieving nasal congestion, clearing the ...more treatments »
Chronic Sinusitis: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of chronic sinusitis may be overlooked or delayed because symptoms can be nonspecific or common to many other conditions. These include upper respiratory infection, influenza, tooth ache, tooth abscess, migraine headache, allergic rhinitis, hay fever or a cold. Because of the similarity to symptoms of these and other conditions, it is important that ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
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symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
Treatments for Chronic Sinusitis
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treatments for Chronic Sinusitis
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis?
Chronic Sinusitis: Related Patient Stories
Chronic Sinusitis: Deaths
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Causes of Chronic Sinusitis
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causes of Chronic Sinusitis
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Chronic Sinusitis: Undiagnosed Conditions
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Misdiagnosis and Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis,
when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection,
such as a common cold....read more »
Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been
immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears
off...read more »
Mild traumatic brain injury often remains undiagnosed: Although the symptoms
of severe brain injury are hard to miss,
it is less clear for milder injuries, or even those causing a mild concussion diagnosis.
The...read more »
MTBI misdiagnosed as balance problem: When a person has symptoms
such as vertigo or dizziness, a diagnosis of brain injury may go overlooked.
This is particularly true of...read more »
Post-concussive brain injury often misdiagnosed: A study found that soldiers who had
suffered a concussive injury in battle often were misdiagnosed on their return.
A...read more »
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can...read more »
Pituitary conditions often undiagnosed cause of symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms
that can be caused by a pituitary disorder (see symptoms of pituitary disorders).
For...read more »
Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases
are difficult to diagnose.
Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and Chronic Sinusitis
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Chronic Sinusitis: Rare Types
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Latest Treatments for Chronic Sinusitis
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latest treatments for Chronic Sinusitis
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