Slideshows Images Quizzes

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

What are the types of sinusitis and sinus infections?

Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on its duration (acute, subacute, or chronic) and the type of inflammation (either infectious or noninfectious). The term rhinosinusitis is also used to imply that both the nose and sinuses are involved.

  • Acute sinus infection (also termed acute sinusitis caused by infection or acute bacterial rhinosinusitis) is usually defined as being of less than 30 day duration.
  • Subacute sinus infection as being over 1 month but less than 3 months.
  • Chronic sinus infection as being greater than a 3 month duration. Chronic sinusitis may be further sub-classified into chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps, or allergic fungal sinusitis.
  • Recurrent sinusitis is when a person has several attacks per year

There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.

  • Infected sinusitis usually is caused by uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
  • Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general time line for acute, subacute and chronic as infectious sinusitis.
Reviewed on 8/18/2017

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors