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Sinusitis Types and Symptoms

Sinusitis is caused by inflammation or infection of one or all of the paranasal sinuses and is categorized into three types on the basis of the duration of the inflammation/infection.

Acute sinusitis:
Acute sinusitis usually lasts for no more than 3 weeks. It is often triggered by flu or a head cold and causes typical ‘cold’ symptoms, but lasts longer than a week.

Chronic sinusitis:
Chronic sinusitis usually lasts for more than 3 weeks and can continue for months or even years. It is commonly caused by allergies or bacterial infections. Among people under the age of 45, chronic sinusitis is one of the most common chronic illnesses.

Recurrent sinusitis:
This is characterized by several separate attacks during the year. The attacks are usually caused by an allergic reaction to weather conditions or other environmental factors.

In general, sinusitis can be diagnosed by a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Cold symptoms that don’t respond to treatment
  • Persistent colds with coughs
  • Head pain on waking in the morning
  • A low-grade fever of 37.7ºC
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • A cough that is more prevalent at night
  • A runny nose (rhinitis)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Postnasal drip
  • Blocked or stuffy nose
  • Congested feeling and pressure
  • Facial pain or swelling
  • Headaches that become worse on bending forward
  • Voice hoarseness
  • A decreased sense of smell
  • A feeling of fullness in the ears

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