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Sinusitis Facts

Sinus problems are very common. In fact, according to the CDC, 28.9 million people (11.6% of the US population) have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis. In addition, 14.7% of people had at least one episode of sinusitis in the past year. This results in 22 million visits to physicians each year.

Sinusitis is basically an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses which are air filled compartments around the nose. The inflammation results in swelling of the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses, as well as thick mucus production. This results in symptoms of facial pressure, nasal congestion, abnormal mucus drainage, cough, fatigue, and loss of smell.

Mucosal irritants (like pollen, dust, etc.), viruses such as rhinovirus, coronavirus, and RSV parainfluenza may cause sinusitis to develop. If the inflammation persists, bacterial infection occurs (usually after 10 days). Common bacteria in acute infections include S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and B. cattarhalis.

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