What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation and bacterial infection of the sinus cavities. It occurs when mucus that normally drains into nasal passages begins collecting in the facial sinuses instead.

It is estimated that 35 million people develop sinusitis annually, making it one of the most common health conditions in the United States.

The disorder usually lasts about 10 to 14 days. Chronic sinusitis is a sinus infection that occurs frequently or lasts three months or longer.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
The following are the most common symptoms for sinusitis, however, individuals may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • facial pain
  • nasal discharge
  • headache
  • coughing
  • nasal congestion
  • fever
  • bad breath
  • pain in the upper teeth

The symptoms of sinusitis may resemble other upper respiratory conditions or medical problems. Consult a physician for a diagnosis.

Can sinusitis be prevented?
Sinusitis may be avoided by:

  • using a nasal spray under the guidance of a physician
  • blowing the nose gently
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • postponing air travel
  • appropriately treating:
  • colds
  • allergy attacks
  • influenza
  • other infections

Treatment for sinusitis:
Specific treatment will be determined by the physician(s) based on:

  • patient’s age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • patient’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • patient’s opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • antibiotic medications
  • decongestant medications

Occasionally, intensive, preventive antibiotic therapy or surgery may be necessary to treat chronic sinusitis.