Sinuses are air cavities in the bony walls surrounding the nasal passages. Sinuses are drained and ventilated by small openings called ostia. Infection to these sinuses usually occurs with any common cold caused by bacteria or viruses.
Most cases of such sinus infections (as in the common cold) recover spontaneously in a few weeks. Sinusitis which fails to resolve in a few weeks tends to occur (and recur) more commonly in individuals with/who:
• Structural abnormalities (e.g. enlarged nasal turbinates, a deviated nasal septum or structurally narrow sinus openings)
• Nasal polyps
• Allergic rhinitis
• Live in polluted environments
Treating acute sinusitis is the same as treating any common cold. In prolonged sinusitis cases, treatment would involve medical management of allergies and lifestyle changes (such as smoking cessation and avoidance of exposure to pollution). Surgery may be considered in cases of structural abnormality or nasal polyps which compromise drainage and ventilation of the sinuses, causing recurrent or chronic sinusitis.