Sinusitis – also known as rhinosinusitis – is an inflammation of the tissue lining of the sinuses that afflicts millions of people each year.Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, pathogens (bacteria, viruses and fungi) can grow and cause an infection. Structural issues such as narrowed drainage anatomy are often associated with sinusitis.
The first line of treatment for sinusitis is medical therapy, including drugs such as antibiotics and steroids. While the specific regimen is at the discretion of the physician, extensive medical therapy typically includes:
For some sufferers, medical therapy may fail to resolve symptoms or only provide temporary relief. This may be due to an underlying physical obstruction that drugs cannot address. Some patients become stuck in a cycle of repeat rounds of drugs to address symptoms, which may lead to antibiotic resistance or problems with steroid use. When medical therapy is not working, lasting, durable treatment options that can reduce dependence on drugs – such as in-office balloon sinus dilation or functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) – may be considered.