Rhinosinusitis, also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinus and nasal passages. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, as well as allergies and environmental factors such as air pollution or smoke. It can be acute or chronic, and is usually accompanied by a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as nasal congestion, facial pressure, postnasal drainage, and headache.

The most common form of rhinosinusitis is acute rhinosinusitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes of the sinuses. Symptoms usually include nasal congestion, facial pain or pressure, thick nasal discharge, loss of smell or taste, and headache. In more severe cases, fever and fatigue may also be present.

Chronic rhinosinusitis involves inflammation of the mucous membranes of the sinuses that lasts longer than 12 weeks. It is less common but more severe than acute rhinosinusitis. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis can include:

  • Nasal congestion, chronic stuffiness, and difficulty breathing
  • Persistent drainage from the nasal passages
  • Decreased sense of smell and taste
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Headache

The diagnosis of rhinosinusitis is usually made through physical examination and imaging studies such as CT scans or MRI. Treatment options include medications such as antibiotics, antifungals, nasal rinses, and decongestants, as well as surgical procedures such as endoscopic sinus surgery or functional endoscopic sinus surgery.

A proper and timely diagnose, along with the correct treatment, is essential for controlling symptoms and reducing complications. People with chronic rhinosinusitis should speak to their doctor about available treatment options.