Sinusitis: Most Common Chronic Illness in United States

Cold and flu season is right around the corner, but if you have a cold that never seems to go away, watch out. It could be an infection called sinusitis.

A cold can make you feel lousy, but what if the symptoms lasted for weeks or even months?
A doctor might diagnose sinusitis, which is an inflammation of the sinus lining.

An estimated 30-million Americans suffer from sinus infections.

In fact, sinusitis is the most common chronic illness in the United States.

Acute sinusitis is even more common and that can be from a viral infection or from a bacterial infection.

Symptoms include: headache, congestion, sore throat, fever, and fatigue.

Doctors say most cases of acute sinusitis are gone within four weeks and will often improve without treatment.

Those that don't may require antibiotics and decongestants.

Chronic sinusitis may be diagnosed if the condition doesn't improve.

Dr. John DelGaudio of the Emory School of Medicine explains treatments for chronic sinusitis, "Surgery is usually indicated for patients who have had chronic sinusitis that doesn't respond to medical therapy, so usually, a minimum of a month on antibiotics in addition to decongestants and or oral steroids."

It's not just colds that increase susceptibility to sinusitis; allergies are a culprit along with nasal polyps and a deviated septum, or nasal cavity.

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