There are two types of
sinusitis: acute (sudden onset) and chronic
(long-term). Sinusitis often develops after a cold or
viral infection. Most sinus infections improve on
their own, but sometimes they develop into a
bacterial infection—swelling, inflammation, and
mucus production caused by the cold can lead to
blockage in the nasal passages, which may encourage the growth of
Acute sinusitis, whether viral or bacterial, may develop
into chronic inflammation or infections that may last 12 weeks or longer.
Chronic sinusitis can lead to permanent changes in the
mucous membranes that line the sinuses. As a result of
these changes, you may become prone to having more sinus infections that may
become more difficult to treat.
Complications of sinusitis (such as an infection of the facial bones called
osteomyelitis) or meningitis are relatively rare. But when
complications occur, they may be life-threatening and often require extensive
medical or surgical treatment.
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
September 12, 2012
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