People with allergic rhinitis or asthma are more likely to suffer from chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis (lasting less than four weeks) often clears up on its own, or responds to an antibiotic. If the cause of the sinus infection is viral, an antibiotic will not be effective.

Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts more than 12 weeks.

Sometimes chronic sinusitis is accompanied by nasal polyps, which arise when the tissue lining the nose, called mucosa, becomes very inflamed and swollen as a result of inflammation or allergy. The fluid-filled sacs swell and can get larger, blocking your ability to breathe (“congestion”).

Treatment for sinusitis

Corticosteroid sprays are often prescribed for most types of sinusitis with nasal polyps, particularly mild polyps caused by allergic rhinitis (allergies to animal dander, dust, molds, pollens, trees, grasses and/or molds). They are also used for patients with medium and large polyps. Steroid sprays may be helpful in shrinking polyps or slowing their natural growth.

Some people, especially those with an impaired immune system, may have unusual infections caused by other types of bacteria or a fungus. In those cases, an antibiotic or an antifungal might be necessary.

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