Acute vs. Chronic Sinusitis

couple with sinuses Sinusitis is a common condition that can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge. In some cases, it can last for months on end if it’s not successfully treated.

What is Acute & Chronic Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling in the lining of your sinuses. It’s classified as acute when it lasts three weeks or less and happens no more than three times a year.

Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, is longer-lasting and typically lasts more than 12 weeks.

How Can Antibiotics Help with Sinusitis?

Antibiotics can help treat sinusitis only if it’s caused by a bacterial infection.

Is Acute Sinusitis Contagious?

If your acute sinusitis was caused by a virus, someone else could catch the virus from you but not the sinusitis itself.

What Are the Types of Acute Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is often classified by its cause. Viral sinusitis has symptoms that are similar to those associated with a cold. It often lasts for a week to 10 days.

Bacterial sinusitis is caused by bacteria, and it can cause thick green or yellow mucus, which often drips down the back of your throat. This type of illness often clears up in 10-14 days if it’s treated with an antibiotic.

Allergic sinusitis can sometimes be seasonal or may last throughout the year. It can lead to chronic sinusitis and often causes sneezing, itchy nose, throat, or eyes, and congestion.

How Are Acute & Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed?

Acute sinusitis can have many symptoms in common with other illnesses, such as a cold. A cold usually lasts no more than 10 days, acute sinusitis can last longer.

To diagnose or rule out chronic sinusitis, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, examine your nose and face for tenderness and also examine the inside of your nose. They may also examine your sinuses closely with a special instrument or scan or conduct an allergy test.

What Are the Complications of Acute & Chronic Sinusitis?

Most cases of sinusitis don’t cause complications, but the ones that do are often bacterial infections. Complications can include infection in your eye and its surrounding tissue, a blood clot in your sinus cavity (thrombosis), or a bone infection.

What Are the Possible Causes of Sinusitis?

Sinusitis can be caused by the following:

  • Virus
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungi

Can Chronic Sinusitis Be Cured Without Surgery?

Depending on the cause, chronic sinusitis may be able to be cured without surgery. For example, if it’s caused by an allergy, you could receive medication, avoid the allergen, or receive allergy shots to build up your tolerance to the allergen over time.

How to Cure Acute Sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis can be successfully treated in the following ways:

  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotics: if bacterial sinusitis is suspected

If you’ve had nasal congestion, discharge, facial pain or other symptoms associated with sinusitis, make an appointment today with Lakeside Allergy ENT in Rockwall, Forney, or Wylie TX. Our experienced ENT doctors can correctly diagnose sinusitis and recommend the most effective treatments.

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