Sinus Infections (Acute and Chronic)
A sinus infection (also called sinusitis) can be classified as one of two main types: acute or chronic. What is the difference? An acute sinus infection is when symptoms have lasted no longer than four weeks. When symptoms have persisted for over 12 weeks, despite medical treatment, the sinus infection is classified as chronic.
Acute and chronic sinus infections can have similar symptoms. For example, some of the most common symptoms of either type of sinus infection include:
- Nasal congestion or blockage
- Drainage of thick, yellow-to-green mucus, which can drain out the nose or down the back of the throat
- Facial pain or discomfort that is worse when bending over
- Tooth pain or discomfort.
Acute sinusitis is often caused by:
- The common cold
- Chronic inflammation.
With chronic sinusitis, the causes are more difficult to determine.
(To learn more about chronic and acute sinusitis, including how they are treated, click Sinus Infection.)