Sinusitis is also known as rhinosinusitis and effects over 35 million people each year. It is an inflammation (itis) of the tissue lining the sinuses. Typically, sinus cavities are filled only with air. However, if they become filled with fluid and become blocked they can develop bacteria, viruses or fungi and become infected.
In addition, if the drainage area is narrowed due to structural anatomy the result may be sinusitis.
Symptoms of Sinusitis include:
• Nasal congestion
• Discolored nasal discharge
• Pain around the eyes, forehead and cheeks
• Fatigue and tiredness
• Dental and tooth pain
Causes of recurring sinusitis include:
• Narrow sinus openings
• Blocked drainage pathways
• Failed healing of sinuses
Often medical care can alleviate symptoms like infection, but for issues such as anatomy or narrowed drainage pathways other options are needed to decrease the likelihood for future blockage.
Causes of chronic sinusitis include:
• Sinus inflammation
• Blocked nasal drainage pathways
• Swelling of the sinuses
• Build-up of mucous
Often medical therapy fails to correct the underlying obstruction preventing drainage, which in turn causes infection and discomfort.
Causes of acute sinusitis include:
• Anatomical irregularities
Acute sinusitis is an outbreak of sinusitis symptoms lasting about one week. Acute sinusitis can be triggered by a number of things:
• Bacterial acute sinusitis is usually triggered by a virus or cold. The sinuses and nasal drainage pathways become blocked due to congestion from the cold, leading to build-up of bacteria and a sinus infection and/or sinusitis.
• Allergies can also lead to an outbreak of acute sinusitis. The inflammation for the allergic reaction can lead to swelling and block sinus and nasal drainage, leading to infection and a sinusitis outbreak.
• Other triggers include environmental factors and anatomical irregularities.
Sinogenic headaches are a symptom of sinusitis, when experienced in combination with other sinusitis symptoms.
In some instances, individuals suffer from sinus headaches without other sinusitis symptoms. The cause of these sinogenic headaches is the subject of controversy.