What Is Chronic Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis occurs when the sinuses – which are spaces inside of your nose and head – become swollen or inflamed, causing symptoms for more than three months. Again, sinuses are cavities or spaces in the skull that are used to regulate the flow of air, create mucus, and improve lubrication. Sinuses have a mucus lining that serves to trap foreign particles before they can pass any farther into the body. Sinusitis occurs when the sinus linings become infected or inflamed, causing excessive mucus production. When this mucus gets infected, you’ll experience discoloration with the yellow and green discharge. Chronic sinus infections can get better, can get worse, but most of the time do not improve over time.
It is often described as being with or without nasal polyps. Polyps are tissue swellings that occur in the lining of the sinuses and the nose, resulting in a grape-like growth. These polyps will often block the drainage pathways of the sinuses, as well as cause difficulty with nasal breathing and the ability to smell.
Chronic sinusitis can be caused by a viral infection, allergies, dental infections, or changes in the anatomy that limit the drainage of your sinuses.
Chronic vs. Acute Sinusitis
It tends to start out as an acute infection found most commonly during the winter or spring when cold and pollen can aggravate the nasal airways. Acute sinusitis is a temporary infection associated with a cold or viral infection. Chronic sinusitis is present their symptoms last for more than 12 weeks. Persistent symptoms may be due to your immune system allergies or your specific anatomy. Often, it will worsen people’s symptoms of asthma. Therefore, treatment will often improve a patient’s asthma symptoms.
Visit an ENT specialist to pursue treatment.