Acute or Chronic Sinusitis? Learn How Family Practice Doctors Treat Sinus Infection

by Artisans of Medicine NYC Quality & Affordable Healthcare in NYC

Do you have nasal congestion, cough, facial pressure or thick nasal discharge? You must check with your family medicine doctor for sinusitis, commonly known as a sinus infection. Sinuses are hollow cavities within the cheekbones, behind the nose, and around the eyes. They contain mucus that helps to filter and moisten the air you breathe. When something blocks the mucus from draining, it causes germs to grow which lead to an infection.

Sinusitis or sinus infection is an inflammation of the air cavities that produce the mucus necessary for the nasal passage to work effectively. Sinusitis affects the paranasal sinuses, the spaces behind the face that results in the nasal cavity. It can be acute or chronic and can be caused by infection, allergies, bacteria, fungi, viruses and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.

Around 12.8% of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with sinusitis as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with asthma, allergies, weak immune systems or structural blockages in the nose are at higher risk of getting a sinus infection. Some people have bodily defects like nasal polyps, narrow sinus openings, and nasal passages bone deformity, which contribute to sinusitis.

A sinus infection close to the brain can be life-threatening, if not treated. Learn the types, causes, symptoms and risk factors to get the right treatment from your family practice doctor.  

Types of Sinusitis

Sinus infection is the swelling and developing of mucus that can be classified into four types, each last for different lengths of time. Treatment and recovery also depend on the type of sinusitis.

        Acute Sinusitis - It begins as a common cold with symptoms including runny nose and facial pain. The symptoms usually last 2 to 4 weeks. Some people with this type of sinusitis may have a bacterial infection.

        Subacute Sinusitis - Symptoms of this sinus inflammation last longer than the acute period, for 4 to 12 weeks.

        Chronic Sinusitis - The symptoms continually return or persist for 12 weeks or longer. It may need more invasive medical treatment.

        Recurrent Sinusitis - This type of sinus infection occurs several times a year.

Warning Signs of Sinus Infection

Symptoms of sinusitis may vary depending on its severity and length. If you have thick, green or yellow nasal discharge and have two or more of the following symptoms, it may be acute sinusitis.

        Cough or Congestion

        Blocked Nose

        Nasal Discharge

        Loss of Smell

        Facial Pain


        Dental Pain


        Bad Breath

If these symptoms exist for more than 12 weeks, your family physician may diagnose chronic sinusitis.

What Causes Sinus Infection?


There are many factors that cause sinusitis in people. Infection and smoking are the main things that make sinusitis more likely for adults. Besides, other common causes of sinus infection are as follows:

        Blocked Drainage Duct

        Swelling Inside the Nose

        Immune System Deficiencies

        Virus, Bacteria & Allergic Fungal Sinusitis

        Chemicals or Irritants in the Air

        Deviated Septum

Rare fungal infections of the sinuses are medical emergencies. People with a sinus infection may develop meningitis, brain abscess, orbital cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and other complications. There is no fungal vaccine available to prevent fungal sinus infections. However, you may get timely treatment by visiting the family practice clinic. 

Sinus Infection Diagnosis & Treatment


The sinusitis is diagnosed based on physical examination and patient history. Your family care doctor will understand your symptoms and carry out a physical examination by visually checking the nasal cavity with a light source or an otoscope, a handheld device with a light attached to it.

For long, persisting symptoms, your family physician will carry out a more in-depth examination. The doctors may insert an endoscope, a small, thin, flexible tube having a light and camera attached to get more detailed images. A CT scan may be needed for a more severe sinus infection.

Treatment options for sinusitis depend on its types, symptoms, and length of infection.

Treating Acute & Subacute Sinusitis - People often use home remedies and over-the-counter medications as prescribed by their family practice doctor to relieve the symptoms. For a simple sinus infection, your doctor may recommend you use saline nasal washes and a decongestant. If there is bacterial sinusitis, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics for 10 to 14 days. You may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infection by getting your allergic sinusitis treated early from your family medicine doctor.

Treating Chronic Sinusitis - Antibiotics are unlikely to treat the symptoms of chronic sinusitis as it is not bacterial in nature. Antifungal drugs recommended by family care doctor can treat a fungal infection and corticosteroid sprays can help in recurrent cases. Taking shots to treat allergies and preventing exposure to allergens can reduce the occurrence of a chronic sinus infection. Surgery may be recommended as a last resort to treat structural issues.

Don’t let sinusitis discomfort you and hamper your lifestyle. Visit Artisans of Medicine to get the right treatment from our doctors of family practice in Brooklyn, New York and learn how to prevent sinusitis. Contact our family practice doctors right away!

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Created on Apr 24th 2019 06:55. Viewed 447 times.


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