Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is the inflammation of the sinuses. The inflammation causes the sinuses to become blocked, filled with fluid, and unable to drain properly. Without drainage, the sinuses become a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and occasional fungus and causes an infection from the blockage.

Causes of Sinusitis

The sinuses can become inflamed for many different reasons, including:

  • A cold or respiratory infection
  • Ear, nose, and throat allergies
  • Nasal polyps
  • Deviated septum
  • Blocked drainage ducts
  • Malformation of the nose or sinuses
  • Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • A weakened immune system

Types of Sinusitis

There are four types of sinus infections:

Acute bacterial sinusitis

With acute bacterial sinusitis are cold symptoms that do not go away after 10 days, or symptoms improve but then return worse than the initial symptoms. This type of sinusitis responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.

Chronic sinusitis

This type of sinusitis lasts for at least 12 weeks and is defined by nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and a decreased sense of smell.

Subacute sinusitis

This type of sinusitis is diagnosed when the symptoms last four to twelve weeks.

Recurrent acute sinusitis

This sinusitis is diagnosed when the symptoms occur four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Symptoms of sinusitis are the same symptoms experienced with a bad cold. They can be uncomfortable and at times painful. These symptoms may include:

  • Postnasal drip
  • Nasal congestion
  • Tenderness of the face around the eyes or nose
  • Tooth pain
  • A cough
  • Fatigue
  • Mouth breathing
  • Yellow or green mucus discharge
  • Ear Pain
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Visual changes

Sinusitis may also cause headaches, and stiffness of the neck.

Diagnosis of Sinusitis

Diagnosis of sinusitis will depend on symptoms and a physical examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. A nasal endoscopy may be conducted to provide a visualization of the sinus cavities. A culture of the nasal secretions may be done to determine the cause of the infection.

Treatment of Sinusitis

Depending on the type of sinusitis, treatment will vary. If the infection is caused by allergies, antihistamines or immunotherapy may be recommended. If the infection is bacterial, antibiotics are typically prescribed. If the infection is fungal in nature, and anti-fungal medication is prescribed. For sinus infections that do not respond to medication, surgery may be required to expand the openings that drain the sinuses, remove nasal polyps, or correct the structural problems inside the nasal passage.

Dr. Neeta Ogden has extensive experience in the treatment of sinusitis and the conditions that lead to the development of sinusitis. If you have had sinusitis, please contact our office to make an appointment. Her practice is conveniently located at 974 Inman Avenue, in Edison, New Jersey.