What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis develops when inflammation occurs in the sinuses. This is most often a result of infection of
the sinus cavities with bacteria or viruses. The inflammation that follows infection leads to swelling of
the lining of the sinuses and nose which can interfere with the function of the nose and sinuses.
Patients frequently experience associated nasal obstruction, facial pain and loss of smell. Sinusitis can
be a short-term problem associated with a cold, a recurrent problem, or a chronic or long term
condition.

What Are The Symptoms of Sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis often accompanies a cold. In addition to the symptoms of a cold, you may experience a
green, yellow or white nasal discharge from the front or back of your nose. Patients may also
experience a throbbing pain or pressure sensation around their face and eyes, a decrease in their sense
of smell, generalized fatigue, bad breath, fever or blockage of the nose. When these symptoms last
longer than 3 months, the sinusitis is considered to be chronic.

How Do We Diagnose Sinusitis?

Diagnosis of sinusitis generally begins with a careful review of your symptoms and a physical exam. An
Otolaryngologist may examine the inside of your nose with a special flexible or rigid telescope; the
telescope allows the doctor to see what is happening inside of your nose and can identify pus draining
from your sinuses, nasal polyps, a deviated nasal septum, and enlarged turbinates. Your doctor may
also use allergy testing, CAT scans, or other procedures to help make the diagnosis of sinusitis.

Is Sinusitis A Serious Condition?

Sinusitis is a serious medical condition. Scientific surveys have revealed that patients that suffer from
sinusitis experience a significant negative impact on their quality of life and sense of well-being. Rarely,
sinusitis can also be associated with more serious medical conditions such as meningitis, infections of
the eye, decreased vision and other serious conditions. Surprisingly, there is also an association
between sinusitis, allergies and asthma.

How Is Sinusitis Treated?

The treatment of sinusitis will vary depending on the length of time that you have had sinusitis.
Treatment often begins with antibiotics and steroids, but may also involve antihistamines and other
allergy medications. In more severe cases, patients may require allergy injections, surgery, or the use of
newer, anti inflammatory injections. These treatments may be required for a short time or indefinitely,
depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, length of time that the patient has experienced
symptoms, and the patient’s associated medical conditions.