The sinuses are divided into frontal, maxillary, sphenoid and ethmoid cells. The paranasal sinuses are part of the upper airways and are connected to the nasal cavity. The paranasal sinuses are lined with mucous membrane. The mucous membranes of the paranasal sinuses and nose are inflamed in sinusitis. A distinction is made between acute and chronic sinusitis: The acute form can occur several times a year and usually heals within one to two weeks without any consequences. Chronic sinusitis is when the symptoms last longer than three months.
Acute sinusitis is often caused by a cold or the flu. Nasal polyps can develop as a result of chronic sinusitis. They impair nasal breathing and the sense of smell. Sometimes it is necessary to do a computed tomography (CT) or an ultrasound.
Nasal sprays containing cortisone can relieve the symptoms of both acute and chronic sinusitis. Decongestant nasal sprays only help in the short term and should only be used for a few days. Some people also find it helpful to rinse their nose or inhale.
In the case of chronic inflammation, some people decide to have an operation, in which the constrictions in the paranasal sinuses can be widened and nasal polyps can also be removed. It is an option when other treatments have not brought sufficient improvement. Due to the complex circumstances, operations on the paranasal sinuses require very good anatomical knowledge. In particular, extensive microsurgical and/or endoscopic surgical experience is required to keep the risk of dangerous complications as low as possible.
In particular, the so-called polypoid sinusitis, i.e. a form of inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, is a chronic disease. The disease sometimes accompanies the patient for a lifetime, despite qualified ENT surgical care. Over time, this condition may also require repeated surgical procedures.
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