SINUS INFECTION

SINUS INFECTION

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinuses are hollow spaces within the bones between your eyes, behind your cheekbones, and in your forehead. They make mucus, which keeps the inside of your nose moist. That, in turn, helps protect against dust, allergens, and pollutants.

Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.

Conditions that can cause sinus blockage includes:

  • The common cold
  • Allergic rhinitis, which is swelling of the lining of the nose caused by allergens
  • Small growths in the lining of the nose called nasal polyps
  • A deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity

Types

You may hear your doctor use these terms:

  • Acute sinusitis usually starts with cold-like symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain. It may start suddenly and last 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Subacute sinusitis usually lasts 4 to 12 weeks.
  • Chronic sinusitis symptoms last 12 weeks or longer.
  • Recurrent sinusitis happens several times a year.

Who Gets It?

Lots of people. About 35 million Americans have sinusitis at least once each year. It’s more likely if you have:

  • Swelling inside the nose like from a common cold
  • Blocked drainage ducts
  • Structural differences that narrow those ducts
  • Nasal polyps
  • Immune system deficiencies or medications that suppress the immune system