Sinusitis can be a difficult condition to understand. Is sinusitis an allergy condition? What effect does it have on the sinuses? Can it be cured? Here’s what you need to know about this condition.
Sinusitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the soft tissue lining (mucosa) of the sinus cavity walls. You may have sinusitis if thick mucus is coming out of your nose and you lose your sense of smell.
Types of sinusitis
- Acute sinusitis: Symptoms of acute sinusitis last for less than three months. You may also have a fever and facial pain or pressure with this type of sinusitis.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: Acute sinusitis episodes occur many times a year.
- Chronic sinusitis: Symptoms of chronic sinusitis last for more than three months.
- Chronic sinusitis with polyps: This is a more severe form of chronic sinusitis that is likely to need surgery. Polyps are noncancerous growths in the sinus tissue.
- Tooth-related (odontogenic) sinusitis: This occurs when tooth infection spreads into the sinuses causing odontogenic sinusitis.
Is it sinusitis or allergies?
Sinusitis has many of the same symptoms as allergic rhinitis. Both conditions cause nasal obstruction (blocked airflow), runny nose, facial pressure, postnasal drip and reduced ability to smell.
But allergic rhinitis has more symptoms, such as sneezing and itchy or watery eyes or nose. Allergies tend to occur at certain times of the year, during hay fever season. Sinusitis can occur at any time.
You can have both sinusitis and allergic rhinitis at the same time. The ENT doctors at Henry Ford Health System can diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan.
Sinusitis is usually controlled with medication. If medication doesn’t help your symptoms, your ENT doctor may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery in addition to your medical treatment. Most patients experience excellent outcomes from sinus surgery.