The title of this blog may seem like a trick question, but there are actually four different types of sinusitis, and each of those can cause symptoms in the four different parts of your sinuses. Before we go any further, let’s revisit the anatomy of your sinus cavities.
When we refer to our sinus issues, most of us are referring to the general area around our nose and forehead. That is, indeed, where our sinuses are located, but the sinuses themselves (also known as parasinuses) are actually four different areas. In a previous blog, we shared that:
The American Rhinologic Society breaks down the paranasal anatomy with corresponding images on their website:
- Maxillary sinus: one sinus located within the bone of each cheek (in your cheeks)
- Ethmoid sinuses: a honeycomb-like structure of 6-12 small sinuses located under the bone of the inside corner of each eye (between your eyes)
- Frontal: one sinus per side, located within the bone of the forehead above the level of the eyes and nasal bridge (at the bottom center of your forehead)
- Sphenoid sinus: one sinus per side, located behind the ethmoid sinuses (behind your nose)
No matter which area is affected, you will almost always experience pain and pressure. The real difference comes in when we look at how long the sinusitis lasts and how it responds to treatment.
In our blog “Sinusitis: Acute vs. Chronic,” we discussed the difference between the two:
- Acute sinusitis is sometimes referred to as rhinosinusitis, and almost always begins with a common cold or seasonal allergies that lead to infection caused by inflammation and mucus buildup. Most acute sinusitis will go away on its own or with medication within 4 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, can last for more than 12 weeks even with treatment. The symptoms are a little more extreme as well.
Although you may not hear the term often, there is a type of sinusitis that is the middle ground of acute and chronic: It’s called subacute sinusitis and lasts for about 1 to 2 months. Many times, this type of sinusitis will be diagnosed as “acute.”
Last but not least is recurrent sinusitis. Just like it sounds, this type is an acute sinus infection that keeps coming back. Because of the frequency of the flare-ups, in some cases it may be diagnosed as chronic.
The great news is that no matter which type of sinus condition you have, there’s no reason to suffer. The expert doctors at CT Sinus Center know everything there is to know about diagnosing and treating all types of sinusitis. When you come in, we’ll take the extra time to really talk to you about your symptoms and medical history before we do anything else. Then after we get to the root of the problem, we’ll develop a treatment plan that is right for you. If you do have chronic or recurring sinusitis, you could be the perfect candidate for balloon sinuplasty, a non-invasive, in-office procedure that has few (if any) side effects and no downtime.
Call 860-BALLOON to make your appointment at one CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices – Ken and Waterbury – and let sinusitis know that it’s not your type.
For additional information on sinus-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.