is a respiratory condition that affects over 35 million Americans
a year and tens of millions more
people throughout the world. The cause can be anything from bacteria
and funga to viruses. Sinusitis is the number one chronic disease
in the United States. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma
and Immunology (AAAAI) describes sinusitis as an inflammation
of the nasal sinuses that
can "be caused by colds, allergies, problems with the immune
system or structural problems in the nasal cavity. Left undiagnosed
or untreated, sinusitis can cause further complications with
the nose, eyes or middle ear and may last for months or even
There are two
types of sinusitis:
Chronic Sinusitis usually lasts more than three months. It causes
a great amount of pain and discomfort, even with medication.
It is hard for someone who has never had a sinus infection
to understand how sinusitis interferes with a person's ability
to do daily tasks.
the AAAAI, "Chronic
sinusitis symptoms are similar to those of acute sinusitis (i.e.,
nasal or postnasal drainage, discomfort in the cheeks, forehead
or around the eyes, nasal congestion, cough and headache). However,
patients usually do not have a fever.”
to Chronic Sinusitis can be allergies and asthma. According to
the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "“If
you have asthma, an allergic disease, you may have frequent episodes
of chronic sinusitis.
If you are
allergic to airborne allergens, such as dust, mold, and pollen,
trigger allergic rhinitis, you may develop chronic
sinusitis. In addition, people who are allergic to fungi can develop
a condition called 'allergic fungal sinusitis.'"
it's very difficult to target what the trigger of chronic sinusitis
is in a sufferer and this sometimes makes it difficult to treat.
As explained by the National Institute of Allergy and Infections
think it is an infectious disease but others are not certain.
It is an inflammatory disease that often occurs in patients with
asthma. If you have asthma, an allergic disease, you may have
chronic sinusitis with exacerbations. If you are allergic to
airborne allergens, such as dust, mold, and pollen, which trigger
allergic rhinitis, you may develop chronic sinusitis. An immune
response to antigens in fungi may be responsible for at least
some cases of chronic sinusitis. In addition, people who are
allergic to fungi can develop a condition called "allergic
fungal sinusitis." If you are subject to getting chronic
sinusitis, damp weather, especially in northern temperate climates,
or pollutants in the air and in buildings also can affect you."
Acute Sinusitis isn't nearly as bad as chronic sinusitis as it
generally lasts for less than one month. Acute sinusitis is
an infection of one of a person's paranasal sinuses that generally
responds well to treatment.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery,
Acute sinusitis "is an infection of the sinus
cavities caused by bacteria. It is usually preceded by a cold,
allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants."
L.J. Fagnan, M.D., the
chief of clinical services in the Department of Family Medicine
at Oregon Health Sciences University School
of Medicine, says that "Acute bacterial sinusitis usually occurs
following an upper respiratory infection that results in obstruction
of the osteomeatal complex, impaired mucociliary clearance and
overproduction of secretions."
Regarding treatments, he states, "Since sinusitis is self-limited
in 40 to 50 percent of patients, the expensive, newer-generation
antibiotics should not be used as first-line therapy. First-line
antibiotics such as amoxicillin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
are as effective in the treatment of sinusitis as the more expensive
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