Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is swelling (inflammation) of the air-filled spaces (sinuses) behind the forehead, cheeks, and eyes, which continues for a long time or keeps coming back.

Alternative Names:
Chronic sinus infection; Chronic sinusitis

Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

The sinuses are openings in the bones around the nose. Four pairs of sinuses connect to small openings in the nose area. Normally, air passes in and out of the sinuses, and mucus and fluid drain from the sinuses into the nose.

Sinusitis is usually due to allergies or infection. When sinusitis keeps coming back or continues for a long period of time, it is considered chronic.

Causes of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Blockage in the nose from allergies, nasal polyps, nasal tumors, or a deviated nasal septum
  • Dental infections such as tooth abscess
  • Allergy to the aspergillus species of fungus

Chronic sinusitis is much less common than acute sinusitis. Acute sinusitis often occurs with upper respiratory infections. Chronic sinusitis may produce less severe symptoms than acute sinusitis, but it can damage the tissues of the sinuses.


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Image-Guided Sinus Surgery for Sinusitis

Image-Guided Sinus Surgery for Sinusitis

For many patients with chronic inflammatory sinusitis, endoscopic sinus surgery has brought great relief, although the close proximity of major nerves, blood vessels and the brain means that surgeons must be especially cautious and conservative.

Last Updated: 11-17-2015
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