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Chronic sinusitis is a condition involving long-term inflammation of the sinuses. To be defined as chronic, the inflammation must have lasted 12 weeks or longer, despite treatment. Common symptoms include pus-like nasal drainage, postnasal drip, and nasal congestion. Although it can affect anyone, chronic sinus infections occur more frequently in young or middle-aged adults.
Because it is now considered an inflammatory condition rather than an infection, "chronic sinus infection" is not really an accurate term anymore. Complicating the matter further, it is possible for sinus infections to occur in people who already have chronic sinusitis. In these cases, antibiotics may be used to control any infections that might occur along with the inflammation.
Treatment for chronic sinusitis aims at relieving symptoms and improving quality of life. In most cases, there is no cure. Some of the treatment options that may be recommended include nasal irrigation, medication, and/or surgery.
(Click Chronic Sinusitis for a more detailed overview of this condition, including who is at risk, how a diagnosis is made, and how likely symptoms are to return.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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