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Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may or may not be as a result of infection, from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or autoimmune issues. The newer classifications of sinusitis refer to it as rhinosinusitis.  This takes into account the thought that inflammation of the sinuses can't occur without some inflammation of the nose tool.  This is also called rhinitis.

Types of Sinusitis

There are four paranasal sinuses in pairs, including the frontal, ethmoid, maxillary and sphenoid sinuses. The ethmoid sinuses can be further broken down into anterior and posterior sinuses, the division of which is defined as the basal lamella of the middle turbinate. In addition to the duration of the disease - acute and chronic- sinusitis can be classified by the sinus cavity which it affects.  These four are:

Maxillary sinusitis - can cause pain or pressure in the maxillary (cheek) area (for example toothache, headache).

Frontal sinusitis - can cause pain or pressure in the frontal sinus cavity (located behind and above eyes), headache. 

Ethmoid sinusitis - can cause pain or pressure pain between and behind eyes, headache.

Sphenoid sinusitis - can cause pain or pressure behind the eyes, but often refers to the vertex of the head.

Recent theories of sinusitis indicate that it often occurs as part of a spectrum of diseases that affect the respiratory tract (i.e. - the "one airway" theory) and is often linked to asthma. All forms of sinusitis may either result in, or be a part of, a generalized inflammation of the airway so other airway symptoms such as cough may be associated with it. A cough can also be triggered by the cough reflex from sinus drainage into the throat. It can be associated with dust mite allergies, air borne particles that lodge in the sinuses and other allergies.  Sinus Cure Report

Acute Sinusitis - Sub-Acute Sinusitis - Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis can be acute, which means going on for less than four weeks, subacute (4-12 weeks) or chronic (going on for 12 weeks or longer).

All three types of sinusitis have similar symptoms, and are thus often difficult to distinguish.

Diagnosis of Sinusitis

The factors which may predispose one to developing sinusitis include: allergies; structural problems such as a deviated septum or small sinus ostia; smoking; nasal polyps; carrying the cystic fibrosis gene (research is still going on); prior bouts of sinusitis as each instance may result in increased inflammation of the nasal or sinus mucosa and potentially further narrow the openings through scar tissue. Also possibly a vitamin A deficiency, milk and dairy allergy or systemic reaction.


Several prediction rules have been developed to help in the diagnosis based on the history and physical. The most consistently predictor is the presence of purulent rhinorrhea - the presence of yellow mucous is almost always an indication of a sinus infection.

When imaging techniques are required for diagnosis CT scanning has been the method of choice but this is an extreme method and one should  seriously consider whether this is necessary because of the exposure to a lot of radiation and also may be radiating the brain area. If allergies are suspected, allergy testing may be performed for dust mites, food etc. Radiation can build up in the body over time and can cause cancer eventually. Sinus Cure Report

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