There are different types of sinusitis, including acute and chronic. The acute type generally resolves within four weeks. The chronic type typically lasts for approximately four to 12 weeks but may last longer. There is also the recurrent type, and this is diagnosed when patients have at least four instances of bacterial sinusitis per year.
A physical examination, looking at the patient’s medical history and exploring their symptoms is often sufficient to diagnose the acute form of sinusitis. If the patient is being evaluated for the chronic type, the following tests may also be done:
Imaging studies to look at the nasal area and sinuses
Allergy testing if certain allergies are suspected
The goal of treatment is to calm the underlying cause, encourage nasal passage draining, decrease sinus inflammation, and reduce how many incidences of sinusitis a patient has. For acute cases, nasal irrigation and sprays to alleviate congestion and reduce inflammation may be sufficient. Antibiotics or antifungal medications may be administered if warranted.
In chronic cases, doctors often look for an underlying cause and treat that. For example, if allergies are to blame, allergy medications might be prescribed. Nasal irrigation and sprays might also be helpful for chronic cases, as well as antibiotics or antifungal medications if necessary. The doctor might also prescribe a steroid medication to treat the associated inflammation.
Those who suspect that they may have sinusitis should consult their doctor. This ensures that they get an accurate diagnosis so that the proper treatment can be administered.