Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideSinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms & Treatment

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms & Treatment

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 5/18/2016

US Federal Drug Administration. "Is Rinsing Your Sinuses Safe?"

Brook, I. MD. "Acute Sinusitis." Medscape. Jul 29, 2015.

Brook, I. MD. "Chronic Sinusitis." Medscape. July 19, 2015.

NeilMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NeilMed Sinusrinse Video.







6.Getty Images/Pixland


8.Wikipedia - © Nevit Dilmen


10.iStock / MedicineNet


12.Wikipedia – Bruce Blaus

13.WebMD - Brayden Knell

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Allergy and Asthma Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors