Chronic sinusitis is defined as having persistent sinus symptoms lasting 12 weeks or longer. These symptoms may include nasal congestion, nasal discharge, facial fullness, headache, sore throat, stuffy ears, lack of smell, unpleasant taste and breath and easy fatigability. Chronic sinusitis can also be complicated by the presence of nasal polyps. A comprehensive allergy evaluation and a tailored medical treatment are nearly always warranted before seeking a surgical intervention, as chronic sinusitis may be non-infectious.
Acute sinusitis is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the paranasal sinuses with symptoms present for 4 weeks or less. Bacterial sinusitis is suspected when symptoms last more than 10 days or if symptoms worsen within 10 days after an initial improvement. Symptoms may include facial pain (especially one sided), nasal congestion and drainage, dental pain, fever and cough. Some individuals have recurrent episodes of acute sinusitis. In such cases tests for immune deficiency are indicated.