Review

Approaching Chronic Sinusitis

Authors: Kathleen M. Sarber, MD, Gregory Robert Dion MD, MS, Erik K. Weitzel, MD, Kevin C. McMains, MD

Abstract

Chronic sinusitis is a common disease that encompasses a number of syndromes that are characterized by sinonasal mucosal inflammation. Chronic sinusitis can be defined as two or more of the following symptoms lasting for more than 12 consecutive weeks: discolored rhinorrhea, postnasal drip, nasal obstruction, facial pressure or pain, or decreased sense of smell. Chronic sinusitis is further classified as chronic sinusitis with polyposis, chronic sinusitis without polyposis, or allergic fungal sinusitis using physical examination, and histologic and radiographic findings. Treatment methods for chronic sinusitis are based upon categorization of the disease and include oral and inhaled corticosteroids, nasal saline irrigations, and antibiotics in selected patients. Understanding the various forms of chronic sinusitis and managing and ruling out comorbidities are key to successful management of this common disorder.

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