In 2014, 29.4 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with sinusitis. Of these, some are acute while others are chronic. While visiting your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment is possible, in most cases, the more effective route is to talk to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or otolaryngologist. He or she can explain the best treatment approach to take depending upon the type of sinusitis you have.
Basic Types of Sinusitis
ENTs address several different types of sinusitis. These include:
- Acute sinusitis
- Subacute sinusitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- The differences between the two extremes: Acute or simple sinusitis and chronic sinusitis are measured not in characteristics so much as time.
What Is Acute Sinusitis in Adults?
Acute sinusitis may begin life as a cold. In fact, most cases of this simple form of sinusitis are preceded by a bad cold. The most common culprit in altering the cold into sinusitis is the rhinovirus. However, secondary causes can be:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenza
- Moraxella catarrhalis
People with an acute case of sinusitis may run a fever, but the fever runs its course, the cold-like symptoms include fatigue, cough and congestion. They soon disappear and life returns to normal within anywhere from 4 weeks. If it stretches into three months, some refer to it as acute sinusitis while others call it subacute, indicating it as a subcategory of acute sinusitis.
Chronic Sinusitis in Adults
Many of the symptoms found in acute sinusitis are duplicated in chronic sinusitis. In fact, the two types are almost identical in characteristics. Where they differ is in the length of time the medical problem remains in the system. Chronic sinusitis can adopt one of two approaches.
- It can last longer than 12 weeks. In fact, it can extend its presence in your body for several months and even years
- It can be present for a limited time, appear to be absent, then reappear. Some ENT specialists call this recurrent sinusitis or recurrent chronic sinusitis
In fact, time is at the root of the effects caused by the different types of sinusitis. While the symptoms remain similar, if not identical, the extended occupation of your body by chronic sinusitis results in an increased impact. By staying for extended periods or perpetually returning, this medical issue has a major impact on your overall health and well-being. It easily negatively affects your overall quality of life.
Acute or Chronic: Talk to a Medical Professional
If you suffer from sinusitis, do not hesitate to contact a medical professional. If you feel it is severe in nature, arrange to talk to an ENT specialist. He or she can help you relieve the pain and get on with your life.