Sinusitis (a sinus infection) can make you miserable with nasal congestion, a cough, facial pressure, and thick nasal discharge.
Your sinuses are hollow cavities found within your cheekbones, around your eyes, and behind your nose. They’re usually filled with air, and they produce mucus that normally drains down the back of your throat without you noticing it. Mucus helps moisten and warm inhaled air and trap particles like dust and allergens.
When something blocks the sinuses and prevents mucus from draining normally, it can build up. This creates a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria, and a sinus infection can occur.
There are two basic types of sinusitis: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
What are the symptoms of acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis?
Symptoms of sinusitis – whether acute or chronic – typically develop after a cold or during times of severe, ongoing allergic rhinitis (hay fever) symptoms. The most obvious sign of sinusitis is pain in the cheeks and forehead.
Other symptoms include the following:
- Thick nasal discharge that’s yellow, green, or a combination of the two
- Postnasal drip, often with a bad taste
If you have acute sinusitis, you may also develop a fever.
What is acute sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis typically causes symptoms that last for fewer than four weeks. Most cases begin as a common cold, and most symptoms of acute sinusitis last for fewer than ten days.
What is chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis (also called chronic rhinosinusitis) is commonly diagnosed when symptoms last more than 12 weeks in spite of treatment. Most cases are a result of acute sinusitis that wasn’t resolved, and their symptoms are often quite similar. The symptoms of chronic sinusitis, however, last longer and can cause significant fatigue. Fever is sometimes a symptom of acute sinusitis, but it’s normally not present with chronic sinusitis.
People who have allergic rhinitis or asthma are more likely to suffer from chronic sinusitis. Their airways and sinuses are more likely to become inflamed and become blocked when allergic sinusitis or asthma are present.
Chronic sinusitis can also be caused by issues such as nasal polyps, which can cause blockages that interfere with the normal draining of mucus.
What treatments are available for acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis that doesn’t develop into chronic sinusitis usually goes away on its own. It’s typically caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t help. Treatment such as the use of a saline nasal spray, nasal corticosteroids, or decongestants can help relieve the symptoms.
Chronic sinusitis may require treatment such as antibiotics, steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, or allergy shots. A non-invasive or surgical procedure can also be used to open and drain the sinuses or to remove nasal obstructions that can prevent normal sinus drainage. This can include a balloon sinuplasty, repair of a deviated septum (septoplasty), or removal of nasal polyps (polypectomy).
Where can I get my acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis treated?
If you think you’re suffering from either acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis, then your first step toward finding relief is to contact one of our numerous convenient Dallas/Fort Worth area offices.
We specialize in sinus and nasal issues, and one of our board-certified sinus specialists will examine you and help determine the cause of your sinusitis. We’ll then start an effective treatment plan that will get you on the road to recovery.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation, or get started by filling out the appointment form right on this page.