Majority of cases in adults and children are of viral aetiology.
Duration of symptoms more than 10 days often indicates bacterial cause.
Imaging is not required for diagnosis unless complications are suspected.
Condition is usually self-limiting; however, symptomatic therapy is recommended.
Antibiotics are only recommended in select patient groups (e.g., immunocompromised or with severe disease).
Acute sinusitis (also commonly known as acute rhinosinusitis) is a symptomatic inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, where clinical symptoms have been present for 4 weeks or less. It can be caused by either a viral or a bacterial infection.
History and exam
- symptoms <10 days (acute viral sinusitis)
- symptoms >10 days but <4 weeks (acute bacterial sinusitis)
- symptoms that worsen after an initial improvement (acute bacterial sinusitis)
- purulent nasal discharge
- nasal obstruction
- facial pain/pressure
- severe symptoms at onset (acute bacterial sinusitis)
- dental pain
Chief Medical Information Officer
Chief of Otolaryngology
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
GS is a consultant with Partnership for Health Analytic Research, LLC and Gerson Lehrman Group, Inc for medical research and expert opinion work. GS is a contractor with Medscape for WebMD for writing healthcare-related articles.
Dr Gordon H. Sun would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Melissa A. Pynnonen and Dr Joseph K. Han, previous contributors to this topic.
Instructor of Otology and Laryngology
Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
BSB is a co-founder and equity shareholder in Luxxeal, Inc.
Academic Medical Center
CG declares that he has no competing interests.
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