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Ohio Head & Neck Surgeons provide answers to the most frequently asked questions and best care practices for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) diseases and disorders, allergy, hearing loss, and cosmetic treatments.

Image and Description of Parts of the Sinus Cavity


Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. The sinuses are four paired cavities in the head that are connected by narrow channels. The sinuses make tin mucus that drains out of those channels, which keeps the nose clean and free of bacteria. Normally the sinuses are filled with air. However, the sinuses can fill with fluid if they become blocked, which can cause bacteria to grow and lead to an infection.

Sinusitis can affect anyone. People with nasal allergies, nasal polyps, asthma, or other nasal conditions are more likely to get sinusitis.

Types of Sinusitis

There are several types of sinusitis:

Acute bacterial sinusitis: This refers to a sudden onset of cold symptoms including a runny or stuffy nose and facial pain that does not go away after 10 days or symptoms appear to have improved but then return worse than before. This responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.

Chronic sinusitis: This refers to a condition defined by nasal congestion, facial pain or pressure, drainage, and decreased sense of smell for at least 12 weeks.

Subacute sinusitis: This term is used whenever symptoms last four to 12 weeks.

Recurrent acute sinusitis: This term is used whenever symptoms return four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold, allergies, and a sinus infection. The common cold typically builds, peaks, then slowly disappears. It lasts anywhere from a few days to a week. A cold can become a sinus infection. Nasal allergies — itchy eyes and nose, congestion, runny nose, sneezing — are due to irritating particles such as dust, pollen, and dander.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Symptoms of sinusitis include:
· Post nasal drip (mucus dripping down the throat)
· Nasal discharge (thick yellow or green) or stuffy nose
· Facial pressure (specifically around the nose, eyes, and forehead), headache or pain in your teeth or ears
· Halitosis (bad breath)
· Cough
· Tiredness
· Fever

While sinusitis can be treated with decongestions and over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, surgery may be required for chronic or recurrent sinusitis. Sinus surgery is most commonly used to treat chronic sinusitis.

At Ohio Head and Neck Surgeons, we understand your concerns when seeking diagnosis and treatment options for Ear, Nose, and Throat injuries and diseases. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our quality ENT specialists. For more information on scheduling click here.

To prepare for your first appointment, you can also visit our New Patients page to find important forms you will need at your appointment including registration and health history.

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