The term sinusitis is a infection, usually bacterial, affecting mucosal epithelium that lines the sinuses, which are cavities housed in the skull and draining its contents ( mucus) to the nostrils through a natural orifice.
Any circumstance that favors the stagnation of mucus in the sinuses or prevent proper drainage through openings that connect the sinuses to the nasal passages, will favor the accumulated mucus becomes infected with bacteria, resulting in the clinical picture known as sinusitis.
The reasons most often trigger sinusitis are a viral infection of the upper airway or Allergy in the case of acute sinusitis ( lasting less than 12 weeks) and anatomical alteration ( deviation of the nasal septum ) or nasal polyposis in the case of a chronic sinusitis ( lasting more than 12 weeks).
The most constant symptom is the Headache (headache ), predominantly frontal, usually located above the eyes and also a pain in the region of Cheek which usually radiates to the ears, jaw or mouth.
Still, except in very rare cases of some chronic sinusitis, headache is not an isolated symptom and the patient suffering from sinusitis often refer other symptoms (loss of smell, pain in cheeks, febricula, thick mucus, poor nasal breathing...). In most cases, a good nostril exploration by fibroscopy will be essential to distinguish between sinusitis and other causes of headache.
Other characteristic symptoms are nasal respiratory failure, the presence of abundant mucus, thick, lack or decrease of smell and mal overall. Fever is a symptom varies. Many sinusitis exist without fever.
The difference between acute and chronic sinusitis
The sinusitis can be Acute or chronic. The difference between them lies in the duration of symptoms ( less than 12 weeks in the acute and more than 12 weeks in chronic ).
In the case of the acute sinusitis, we find an abrupt onset and complete resolution of the picture, as in chronic sinusitis often persist inflammatory changes in the imaging, despite the resolution of symptoms and treatment with antibiotics.
The Chronic sinusitis, as its name suggests, is a persistent disease that only definitively solved by surgery ( correction of a deviated nasal septum or excessively using endoscopic sinus surgery ).
Because it is an infection, the Treatment of acute sinusitis is essentially antibiotic ( orally or intravenously ). Other drugs such as oral steroids and topical application (nasal ), antihistamines, decongestants and analgesics in order to promote drainage of mucus stuck in the sinuses and relieve pain are generally used.
As mentioned above, treatment of the Chronic sinusitis is essentially Surgical.