Sinus Infection (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Is Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)?
Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. A sinus infection can cause a headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head. A person with a sinus infection may also have a cough, sore throat, fever, bad breath, and nasal congestion with thick nasal secretions. Sinusitis is a common condition categorized as acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long term, the most common type).
What do the Sinuses Look Like (Pictures)?
The human skull contains four major pairs of hollow air-filled cavities called sinuses. These are connected to the space between the nostrils and the nasal passage (behind your nose). Sinuses help insulate the skull, reduce its weight, and allow the voice to resonate within it. The four major pairs of sinuses are the:
The sinuses contain defenses against viruses and bacteria (germs). The sinuses are covered with a mucous layer and cells that contain tiny hairs on their surface (cilia). These help trap and propel bacteria and pollutants outward.
Acute sinusitis typically lasts less than eight weeks or occurs no more than three times per year with each episode lasting no longer than 10 days. Medications are generally effective against acute sinusitis. Successful treatment counteracts damage done to the mucous lining of the sinuses and surrounding bone of the skull.
Chronic or recurring sinusitis lasts longer than eight weeks or occurs more than four times per year, with symptoms usually lasting more than 20 days.
Picture of the anatomy of the sinuses
Picture of the detail of the sinuses
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2016
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Must Read Articles Related to Sinus Infection
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Sinus Infection:
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) - Surgery
Please share your experience with sinus surgery.
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) - Experience
Please share your experience with sinus infections or sinusitis.
Sinus Infection - Signs and Symptoms
What signs and symptoms did you experience with your sinus infection?
Sinus Infection - Effective Treatments
What kinds of treatments have been effective for your sinus infection?
- Track Cold and Flu Symptoms Near You
- How Colds and Allergies Can Lead to Tinnitus
- Help For Baby's Dry, Itchy Skin