Sinus - Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Sinusitis is an inflammatory condition that causes the sinuses to become blocked and filled with fluid. It is typically brought on by a cold or allergies. The obstruction may lead to an infection.

Different types of sinuses

The paranasal sinuses are situated near your nose and the eyes in your head. They get their names from the bones that support their structure.

  • Between your eyes are the ethmoidal sinuses.
  • The maxillary sinuses lie under your eyes.
  • Behind your eyes are the sphenoidal sinuses.
  • Above your eyes are the frontal sinuses.
  • The maxillary cavity is the largest sinus cavity and one of the most often infected cavities.

Types of Sinusitis

Acute bacterial sinusitis This phrase refers to a rapid onset of cold symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and face discomfort that does not resolve within 10 days, or symptoms that seem to improve but then return and are worse than the original symptoms (termed "double sickening"). Antibiotics and decongestants work well on it.

Chronic sinusitis This is a condition that lasts at least 12 weeks and is characterized by nasal congestion, discharge, face pain/pressure, and a reduced sense of smell.

Subacute sinusitis This phrase refers to symptoms that persist for four to twelve weeks.

Recurrent acute sinusitis This phrase refers to symptoms that return four or more times in a year and persist for less than two weeks each time.

What causes sinusitis?

Sinusitis is caused by a virus, bacterium, or fungus that causes the sinuses to enlarge and get blocked. Among the particular reasons are:

  • common cold.
  • Allergies to mold, as well as nasal and seasonal allergies
  • Polyposis (growths).
  • A septum deviated. The septum is the cartilage line that separates your nose. A deviated septum is one that is not straight, leading it to be closer to the nasal channel on one side of your nose, resulting in an obstruction.
  • A weakened immune system as a result of disease or drugs.
  • Spending time in daycares, using pacifiers or drinking bottles while lying down, and using pacifiers or drinking bottles while lying down may raise the risk of sinusitis in babies and young children.
  • Adults who smoke are more likely to have sinus infections. If you smoke, you should give it up. Tobacco use is hazardous to your health and the health of those around you.

What are the symptoms and signs of sinusitis?

Sinusitis often develops after an upper respiratory tract infection, such as a cold. You may get sinusitis if you have a prolonged cold and develop the symptoms listed below. Sinusitis symptoms include:

  • a discharge from your nose that is green or yellow
  • a stuffy nose
  • Tenderness and discomfort in the cheeks, eyes, or forehead
  • a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher toothache
  • a diminished sense of smell
  • bad breath (halitosis)

Diagnosis of Sinus Infection

To determine whether you have a sinus infection, your doctor will question you about your symptoms and when they began, as well as do a physical exam. This exam may involve checking for polyps in the nose, doing a transillumination test (shining a light against the sinuses) to detect inflammation, and tapping the sinus region to detect infections.

Your doctor may order further tests if you have a persistent sinus infection, such as:

  • Rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy to examine your sinuses and determine if your membranes are irritated.
  • Mucus cultures are used to identify what is causing your infection (if it has not improved after antibiotics)
  • Allergy testing helps identify which allergens are causing your chronic or recurring illnesses.
  • A CT scan is used to detect sinus abnormalities such as polyps or a deviated septum.
  • An MRI scan will be performed to determine if you have a nasal tumor or a fungal infection.
  • If you have a severe fungal sinus infection, your doctor may recommend a bone biopsy to determine if the infection has spread to your bones.


Treatment choices are determined by how long the disease persists. Sinusitis, both acute and subacute. A doctor may recommend therapy if symptoms continue or become severe.


Antibiotics may be prescribed if a bacterial infection is present. If the symptoms persist after the antibiotics have been finished, the patient should see a doctor.

A doctor will determine if you have a sinus infection by doing a physical examination. Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections.

Sinus surgery using a nasal endoscope is the most commonly suggested procedure for chronic sinusitis-infected people. The doctor uses the same type of thin endoscope used during the diagnostic exam. This procedure requires no visible incisions, is performed under general anesthesia.