Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. 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 include:
The common cold
Allergic rhinitis, which is swelling of the lining of the nose
Small growths in the lining of the nose called nasal polyps
A deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity
- 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 2-4 weeks.
- Subacute sinus: Inflammation usually lasts 4 to 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: Inflammation symptoms last 12 weeks or longer.
- Recurrent sinusitis: Happens several times a year.