Definition of Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a health problem wherein the person’s sinuses become irritated swollen and inflamed.

Depending on the duration of a person’s symptoms, medical experts will categorize sinusitis among one of four kinds. The kinds of sinusitis include:

Recurrent sinusitis
Acute sinusitis – This condition will manifest symptoms enduring for less than a month
Subacute sinusitis – This type of sinusitis can endure for a month to three months
Chronic sinusitis – Also called long-term sinusitis with symptoms enduring for 3 months and longer

Some doctors usually call sinusitis as “rhinosinusitis.”  The reason why is that the sinus inflammation rarely occurs minus the inflammation also occurring inside the nares.  Rhino is the medical word referring to the nasal passages.

Sinusitis is also known as sinus infection despite the fact that not all sinusitis conditions are the result of an infection.

Types of Acute Sinus Infections

As mentioned above, acute sinusitis lasts for less than a month.  Acute sinusitis can likewise be classified into distinct types.  The types can include acute bacterial rhinosinusitis or ABRS and acute viral rhinosinusitis (AVRS).  The most typical form among the two is AVRS which accounts for almost all (98%) cases of acute sinusitis.

Types of Chronic Sinusitis

Some medical researchers have classified chronic sinusitis into three types:

Allergic fungal chronic rhinosinusitis
Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps
Chronic rhinosinusitis absent nasal polyposis

Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps affects about a third of the population. The polyps look like clear masses containing an inflammatory factor that looks like white or yellow grayish gelatinous material. These polyps can develop in the paranasal sinuses or nasal passages.  The nasal polyps need to be detected on both nostrils in order for the doctor to come up with this diagnosis.

Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis can develop in individuals having a healthy immune system although they may be quite sensitive to NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and aspirin.

Allergic fungal chronic rhinosinusitis has been diagnosed in about a tenth of the population. Allergic fungal chronic rhinosinusitis is quite distinct from fungal sinusitis. People having the former can possess or be without the polyps. However, they do show:

Allergic mucus – This type of mucus is usually found in the sinuses or nose and is infected with fungi and some kinds of chemicals that trigger an allergic response in the person.
An allergy to specific kinds of fungus

Even individuals possessing a healthy immune function can develop fungal chronic rhinosinusitis.

Among the types of chronic sinusitis, chronic rhinosinusitis having no nasal polyposis is by far the most widespread form of chronic sinusitis. Statistics show that around 67% of the population two out of every three people possess this form. The doctor will diagnose chronic rhinosinusitis if the patient fails to meet the criteria of the other two forms of chronic sinusitis.

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