Sinusitis is a medical condition where your sinuses become infected from either virus or bacteria. This can lead to inflammation and swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Once you start noticing the symptoms of sinusitis, consult your doctor to get diagnosed and to treat your sinusitis.
In case you delay the sinusitis treatment, you can suffer from complications and can cause some life-threatening medical conditions. Here, you can learn about the types, complications, causes, and symptoms of sinusitis.
What are the types of sinusitis [sinus infections]?
You can get affected by four  types of sinusitis and they are:
- Acute sinusitis: Sinusitis which is caused by a viral infection and lasts less than a week is acute sinusitis. Seasonal allergies and a common cold can cause acute sinusitis. In rare cases, bacterial infection can also cause acute sinusitis that can last for up to four  weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: If you suffer from symptoms of sinusitis for up to 3 months, then you are having subacute sinusitis. This can be caused by either seasonal allergies or by bacterial infections.
- Chronic sinusitis: Symptoms of chronic sinusitis can last more than 12 months and are less severe. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by an infection, nasal polyps [growths in the sinuses], or swelling of the lining of your sinuses. Chronic sinusitis is also called chronic rhinosinusitis. where the condition can affect both adults and children.
- Recurrent sinusitis: Sinusitis that occurs several times within a year is called recurrent sinusitis. This can be caused by either a viral infection or changes in the nasal septum.
What are the health issues and complications related to sinusitis?
You can suffer from a few of the health conditions and complications in case sinusitis is left untreated. They are:
- Osteomyelitis: Osteomyelitis is a bone infection. In this condition, you can suffer from inflammation of bones. This is an unusual finding and most frequently found after trauma, radiation therapy, or debilitating disease. The infection from the nose can travel through bloodstreams and can spread to the legs, arms, and spine. Spreading of osteomyelitis to the skull can be life-threatening. Common symptoms include pain, fever, and chills.
- Meningitis: Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation can be caused by a viral infection, bacterial infection, and fungal infection. In rare cases, an infection can be a result of the accumulation of germs in the nose. Symptoms include headache, fever, and stiff neck. Meningitis can get better on its own or can become life-threatening which would require antibiotic treatment.
- Infection of skin around the eyes [orbital cellulitis]: Orbital cellulitis is a bacterial infection in the eye socket. The infection is raised at the sinuses due to sinusitis and can spread to eye sockets. If orbital cellulitis is left untreated, it can cause blindness or life-threatening medical conditions. This condition usually responds well to antibiotics, but it sometimes requires surgery.
- Bleeding: Bleeding can be seen within the first 2 hours after the surgery. In case, bleeding occurs even after 48 hours of the surgery, then you need to consult your doctor immediately to seek medical attention.
- Damage to the eye or surrounding tissue: As the sinuses are so close to the eye, bleeding can occur into the eye in rare cases. This can happen when the thin layer of bone that separates the sinuses from the eyes is damaged. In extremely rare instances, visual loss and blindness can happen and damage to the muscles that help in the movement of the eye can also get damaged.
What are the causes of sinusitis?
In most cases, sinusitis can be caused by either a viral infection or a bacterial infection. However, a few of the causes of sinusitis are listed below.
- Excessive mucus production
- Presence of nasal polyps
- Failure of cilia to move out the excess mucus
- Common cold and allergies
- Deviated septum
- Respiratory tract infections
- Diseases like HIV and cystic fibrosis
What are the symptoms of sinusitis:
You can suffer from either acute or chronic sinusitis due to inflammation and swelling of the lining of the sinuses. In case you have sinusitis, you can suffer from symptoms such as:
- Thick, green, or yellowish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
- Pain, inflammation, swelling, and pressure around your eyes, nose, forehead, and cheeks.
- Change in sense of smell
- Ear pressure
- Bad breath
- Dizziness or fatigue
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, contact your doctor immediately, and seek medical attention.
Acute sinusitis can get away on its own without any surgical or nonsurgical treatment options. However, if you have chronic sinusitis, your doctor can recommend surgical or nonsurgical treatments.
If you delay or avoid treating sinusitis, it can cause serious complications that can become life-threatening. To avoid the complications of sinusitis, you need to undergo the best and safest sinusitis surgery and should follow all the instructions suggested by your doctor.