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Condition and symptoms

(Rhino)sinusitis is defined as inflammation of the nose and sinuses. In acute sinusitis, there is complete resolution of symptoms within 12 weeks of onset. When the symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks we call it chronic rhinosinusitis. 

Acute sinusitis usually has an infective cause. Symptoms often compromise; nasal obstruction, nasal discharge, facial pain or headaches and fever. 

The aetiology of chronic sinusitis is largely unknown but is likely to be multifactorial, with inflammation, infection and obstruction of sinus ventilation playing a part. Chronic sinusitis is a highly prevalent condition affecting 10% of the UK adult population. It is associated with significant reduction of quality of life. Chronic sinusitis often needs long term treatment.


During the consultation Mrs Bentley will take a full history and will need to examine your nose and sinuses. To help clarify the cause of your symptoms she will examine your nose using an endoscope under local anaesthetic spray. This is not painful although some people describe it as slightly uncomfortable. A CT scan of the sinuses may be required to assess the sinuses in more detail.

In the majority of cases sinusitis can be managed effectively with medical treatment. This may include antibiotics, nasal steroids and nasal douching (irrigation with sterile saline solutions). Occasionally the symptoms persist in spite of medical treatment and in these patients surgery may be necessary. The risks and benefits will be discussed in full detail by Mrs Bentley during your consultation.

Sinusitis: Articles & Resources
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