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Chronic sinusitis is characterized by nasal congestion, postnasal drip, facial pressure, and other symptoms lasting longer than 12 weeks, despite treatment. Although the exact cause is still unknown, this long-term sinus inflammation is more likely to occur in people with risk factors such as asthma or allergies. Bacteria are no longer believed to be the main cause. Treatment options include medications, nasal irrigation, and/or surgery.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis?Healthcare providers define chronic sinusitis as an inflammatory condition involving the paranasal sinuses that lasts 12 weeks or longer, despite treatment. The condition can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. It is more common in young or middle-aged adults, although children can also be affected.
Inflammation Versus InfectionHealthcare providers used to believe that an infection was the main cause of chronic sinusitis. Therefore, treatment would involve long periods of antibiotics. However, further research has shown that, in most cases, chronic sinusitis is caused by inflammation.
- Chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyposis (polyps)
- Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (polyps)
- Allergic fungal chronic rhinosinusitis.