Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. It is often caused by bacterial (germ) infection. Sometimes, viruses and fungi (molds) cause it. People with weak immune systems are more likely to develop bacterial or fungal sinusitis. Some people with allergies can have "allergic fungal sinusitis." Acute sinus disease lasts three to eight weeks. Sinus disease lasting longer than eight weeks is considered chronic.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Postnasal drip
- Discolored nasal discharge (greenish in color)
- Nasal stuffiness or congestion
- Tenderness of the face (particularly under the eyes or at the bridge of the nose)
- Frontal headaches
- Pain in the teeth
- Bad breath
The sinuses are air-filled cavities. They are located:
- Within the bony structure of the cheeks
- Behind the forehead and eyebrows
- On either side of the bridge of the nose
- Behind the nose directly in front of the brain
An infection of the sinus cavity close to the brain can be life threatening, if not treated. In rare cases, it can spread to the brain.
How We Can Help
Dr. Paluvoi may begin by taking a detailed history, looking for clues in your lifestyle that will help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. In most cases, patients will have underlying environmental allergies leading to sinus infections. Skin testing is the easiest, most sensitive and generally least expensive way of making the diagnosis. Another advantage is that results are available immediately. We have an in house sinus x-ray facility in our main Cary location. By stopping a sinus infection early, you avoid later symptoms and complications.