Sinus infections often come after a cold. The infection can cause pain and pressure in the head and face. But what is sinusitis? And what types of sinusitis are diagnosed?
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is infection and/or an inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. The sinus cavities are the hollow spaces in the cheeks and around the eyes. The inside of the sinuses are similar to the inside of the nose. In medical English, the suffix "itis" means an "inflammation" so when the sinuses become inflamed, the condition is called sinusitis.
Sinusitis usually develops after a cold or viral infection. Most sinus infections get better on their own. However, sometimes a bacterial infection develops, characterized by swelling, inflammation, and pus production. These symptoms may encourage the growth of bacteria and can lead to blockages in the nasal passages.
Types of sinusitis
Sinusitis is usually categorized as either acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long-term). Acute sinusitis, whether viral or bacterial in origin, may develop into chronic inflammation or infections. The inflammation and /or infection may last 8 weeks or longer. Chronic sinusitis can lead to permanent changes in the mucous membranes. As a result of these changes, a person may become prone to having more sinus infections that may become more difficult to treat.
Colds versus sinusitis
Although your nose may get stuffy during a bout with the common cold, you may confuse simple nasal congestion with sinusitis. A cold, however, usually lasts about 7 to 14 days and goes away without treatment. Acute sinusitis often lasts longer and typically causes more symptoms than a cold.
Sinus infections can be caused by anything that causes swelling in the sinuses. But what are some of the more precise causes of sinus inflammation, both in the short-term and the long-term? Continue reading for more information on which risk factors you can avoid to keep your sinuses healthy and what causes sinus problems here.
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