It is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) can grow and cause an infection.
Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include the common cold, allergic rhinitis (swelling of the lining of the nose), nasal polyps (small growths in the lining of the nose), or a deviated septum (a shift in the nasal cavity).
There are two types of sinusitis:
- Acute sinusitis is when symptoms are present for 4 weeks or less. It is caused by bacteria growing in the sinuses.
- Chronic sinusitis is when swelling and inflammation of the sinuses are present for longer than 3 months. It may be caused by bacteria or a fungus.
- Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your face several times a day.
- Drink plenty of fluids to thin the mucus.
- Inhale steam 2 - 4 times per day (for example, while sitting in the bathroom with the shower running).
- Spray with nasal saline several times per day.
- Use a humidifier.
Primary symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
- Facial pain/pressure
- Nasal stuffiness
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of smell
- Additional symptoms may include:
- Bad breath
- Dental pain