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Sinusitis is a common infection of the mucus lining of the paranasal sinuses, often triggered by allergies or the common cold. The sinuses produce mucus to keep the nasal passages moist as well as to protect the body from harm by trapping dirt particles and germs. However, if there’s a buildup of mucus, germs and bacteria can manifest and cause inflammation and swelling, leading to bacterial or viral infections.

The most common symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Distorted sense of smell
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Swelling and tenderness around the eyes, nose and forehead

The duration of your sinusitis depends on the type of sinusitis infection you have. The three types of sinusitis infections are:

Acute Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is the shortest lasting infection. Viral infections caused by the common cold typically resolve after 1-2 weeks, whereas bacterial infections may last up to 4 weeks.

Subacute Sinusitis

Subacute sinusitis is commonly associated with seasonal allergies as well as bacterial infections. In most cases, lasting up to 3 months.

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms last longer than three months. Chronic sinusitis is often associated with persistent allergies and nasal structural complications such as a deviated septum.


Nasal decongestants, pain medication, and saline rinses may assist in the relief of symptoms. Additionally, in the case of a bacterial infection, Dr Makhaye may prescribe an antibiotic to inhibit the growth and manifestation of bacteria.