Chronic sinusitis is a continuing inflammatory condition of one or more sinuses. It is less common than acute sinusitis but appears to be getting more common in all age groups.
What are the sinuses?
The sinuses are small, air filled spaces inside the cheekbones and forehead. They make mucus which drains into the nose through small passages.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis means sinus inflammation. Most sinusitis attacks are caused by an infection. The cheekbone sinuses are the most usually affected.
At times it lasts longer. Sinusitis is said to be acute if it lasts from 4-30 days and sub-acute if it lasts from 4-12 weeks. A minor acute sinusitis attack is common and many people will have some sinusitis with a cold. Severe acute sinusitis is rare. Most people only ever have one or two acute sinusitis attacks in their life. A few people have periodic acute sinusitis attacks.
Chronic sinusitis means that a sinusitis comes to be persistent and persists for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis is rare.
Most chronic sinusitis cases advance resulting an acute sinusitis infection.
The subsequent are acute sinusitis causes, that may advance into a chronic sinusitis:
- Cold or flu-like illnesses – in most circumstances, acute sinusitis advances from a cold or flu-like illness. Colds and flu are instigated by viruses which may spread to the sinuses.
- Extra risk causes for sinus infection – in some people, one or more reasons are present that may cause their sinuses to be more infection prone. Acute sinusitis may be more prone to lead to chronic sinusitis if there is an underlying problem.
If you develop chronic sinusitis after an acute sinus infection, you may continue to get symptoms,even after the infection subsides . This is why curing chronic sinusitis with normal antibiotics does not often work.
The most noticeable symptom is generally a blocked nose (nasal obstruction). One or more of the subsequent symptoms may also occur:
- A runny nose – may be green/yellow discharge
- A reduced smell sense.
- Pain over the affected sinus – Though, pain is regularly not a main chronic sinusitis feature (unlike acute sinusitis).
- Hawking due to post nasal drip ( secretions coming to the throat from behind the nose)
The symptom severity may wax and wane. They may be worst during an early acute sinusitis. They may then lessen and not be as severe, leaving background symptoms.
Additional symptoms that at times occur include: headache, bad breath, toothache, cough, a pressure or feeling of fullness in the ears and weariness. In children, symptoms may comprise irritability, snoring, mouth breathing, feeding trouble and nasal speech.