Sinusitis and its symptoms

May 27th, 2017

Sinusitis, a common condition affecting millions of people each year, is the swelling of the tissue in the sinus cavities.[1] It often causes trouble breathing, headache, and runny nose, among other symptoms, and it in turn is usually caused by a viral infection such as a cold.[2] It can also be caused by bacteria, or structural changes that can block the sinus cavities, like growths called “polyps,” or a problem with the "wall" between the nostrils (a "deviated septum").[3]

Sometimes, a person suffering from sinusitis doesn’t realize the sinuses are inflamed right away. But then, they’re flying on an airplane, driving up a mountain, or just leaning forward or bending down, and suddenly feel a piercing, squeezing feeling, or pressure within the sinuses.

Allergies, colds, and upper respiratory infections often have similar symptoms as sinusitis, and the conditions are often mistaken for one another.[4]

To further complicate matters, physicians typically cannot diagnose sinusitis based on symptoms alone. They may need to examine the nasal swelling or inflammation. To do this, they often insert a small camera, called an endoscope, up the nose into the sinuses to get a better view. They might also order a type of X-ray called a CT scan to assess the level of inflammation.

Sinusitis can be classified a few different ways:[5]

  • acute sinusitis, a one-time case which gets better within about four weeks.
  • subacute sinusitis, which lasts between four and eight weeks.
  • chronic sinusitis, which lasts more than twelve weeks.
  • recurrent acute sinusitis, which lasts less than two weeks but occurs three times or more within a year.

The symptoms of sinusitis

The common symptoms of sinusitis can be the same, regardless of which type you have. They are caused by swollen sinus tissue, creation of excess mucus that travels down the throat and causes a cough, and narrowed sinus passages causing a backup of mucus—since it can’t drain—that increases pressure and causes pain.

Symptoms include:

  • pain in the forehead, teeth, and cheeks, and between or behind the eyes;
  • stuffed-up nose;
  • mucus that runs out of the nose or down the throat, particularly if it’s not clear in color;
  • cough;
  • sore throat; and
  • fatigue

If you suffer from sinusitis symptoms, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. After examining you and determining the cause of your symptoms, they may recommend rest, drinking lots of fluids, and using over-the-counter decongestants. If the symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, or if they are severe, a visit to an ENT physician may help you to get more advanced treatment. Talk to your doctor for more information.


Why find an ENT physician ?

If you suffer from chronic sinus infections, you may need to see an ENT physician, who is also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or an otolaryngologist. These specialized physicians are experts in both the medical and surgical management of chronic sinusitis.

Intersect ENT makes information about physicians and facilities that offer PROPEL® sinus stents available. Physicians and facilities are listed based upon proximity to the zip code you have entered.

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Safety Information

The purpose of the site is to help create awareness about sinusitis and treatment options for the disease. Please note that information contained on this site is not medical advice. It should not be used as a substitute for speaking with your physician. Always talk with your physician about diagnosis and treatment information.

The PROPEL sinus implants are intended for use after sinus surgery to maintain patency and to locally deliver steroids to the sinus mucosa: PROPEL for use in the ethmoid sinus, PROPEL Mini for use in the ethmoid sinus and frontal sinus opening, and PROPEL Contour for use in the frontal and maxillary sinus ostia. The implants are intended for use in patients ≥18 years of age. Contraindications include patients with intolerance to mometasone furoate (MF) or a hypersensitivity to bioabsorbable polymers. Safety and effectiveness of the implants in pregnant or nursing females have not been studied. Risks may include, but are not limited to, pain/pressure, displacement of implant, possible side effects of intranasal MF, sinusitis, epistaxis, and infection. For complete prescribing information see IFU at www.IntersectENT.com. Rx only.

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