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Sinusitis is a condition where one or more of the membrane linings found in the sinus cavities become inflated or infected. Inflammation or infection of this kind can cause an increase in the internal pressure within these cavities. This pressure is then experienced in the cheek area, eyes, nose, the temple etc. in the form of severe headache.

Since there are four different cavities in the paranasal sinus, there are also four different types of sinusitis as follows:

Classification of Sinusitis

There are both acute and chronic versions of sinusitis:

Acute Sinusitis

Sinus infections that last up to 3 weeks can be termed acute sinusitis. The infection develops very quickly in this case. Acute sinusitis seldom becomes severe though the affected individuals are known to display symptoms such as congestion, post nasal drip, halitosis, runny nose etc. in addition to the sinus pressure and pain in the affected areas. Sinusitis that lasts for up to 12 weeks can be termed as sub-acute.

Chronic Sinusitis

If the infection or inflammation persists for more than 12 weeks, then it can be termed as chronic sinusitis. Certain allergies, bacterial or fungal infections etc. or disorders targeting the sensitivity of mucus membrane linings surrounding the sinus cavities and nasal passages when left untreated can lead to chronic sinusitis.

The main symptoms of chronic sinusitis are debilitating headaches, green coloured mucus, several blockages in the nasal passages or congestion and heavy pressure in the cheek, forehead, temple and eye regions.


There is a third kind of sinusitis called recurrent sinusitis. They are intermittent and a person usually affected by this sinusitis experiences infection many times throughout the year. There may be a period of complete relief between consecutive infectious periods.

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