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Sinusitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the paranasal sinuses. However, sinusitis is almost always accompanied by inflammation of the contiguous nasal mucosa, hence a more accurate term rhinosinusitis has superseded the terms rhinitis and sinusitis (1,2)
- usually results from inadequate drainage of the sinuses, typically the maxillary sinus ostium situated under the middle turbinate leading to obstruction with mucus retention and subsequent infection (1)
- may occur in one or more sinuses (multisinusitis), in one or both sides (1,2,3)
It is one of the most common diagnoses in primary care. In the USA
- sinusitis affects about 1 in 8 adults, with an annual diagnosis of over
- it is the fifth most common diagnosis responsible for antibiotic therapy
- more than 1 in 5 antibiotics prescribed in adults are for sinusitis (2)
Sinusitis is generally triggered by a viral upper respiratory tract infection,
with only 2% of cases being complicated by bacterial sinusitis (1)
- Ah-See KW, Evans AS. Sinusitis and its management. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2007;334(7589):358-361.
- Rosenfeld RM et al. Clinical practice guideline (update): adult sinusitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;152(2 Suppl):S1-S39
- Amber Huntzinger .Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Rhinosinusitis in Adults. American Family Physician 2007;76:10
Last edited 09/2018 and last reviewed 03/2020