Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic Sinusitis

A cold that doesn’t go away could be a sign of sinusitis – a condition where the sinuses are infected and inflamed and are blocked with fluid. If the condition persists, it’s called chronic sinusitis.

The sinuses are four paired cavities connected via narrow channels. These channels help in draining out the thin mucus that the sinuses naturally produce. This drainage keeps the nose clean and free from bacteria. When this drainage is hindered the mucus is collected in the sinuses causing blockage and infection. Chronic sinusitis symptoms never really go away for long periods of time – 12 weeks or more. The cause can be asthmatic conditions, allergies, infections (bacterial, viral or fungal), polyps and even a weak immune system. A physical examination or a CT-scan or an MRI, as advised, by the ENT doctor will help in diagnosing the cause and degree of sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis can be cured, but one may require multiple therapies for effective management.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both of the above have similar signs and symptoms. But acute sinusitis is a temporary condition wherein infection of the sinuses is often associated with cold. Symptoms and signs of chronic sinusitis last at least 12 weeks. One may have many episodes of acute sinusitis before it becomes chronic.

This condition is rarely life-threatening, but it can become dangerous at times, if left untreated. Due to the proximity of the sinuses to the eyes and brain infections can spread beyond the sinuses into your bones, brain or spine. If sinusitis symptoms lasting more than a few days aren’t improving, or are worsening, a visit to the ENT is a must.

Unlike a normal migraine headache, a sinus headache occurs typically in the face, cheeks and around the eyes when one has a ‘cold’. Sinus headaches last for days or weeks till the sinusitis is treated with medication/antibiotics. Migraine headaches come and go.