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What is sinusitis?

What is sinusitis and how do you know if you have it? I am definitely having some bad problems with my throat and sinus, but I'm not sure if what I have rises to the level of sinusitis. I mean, my sinuses are definitely irritated, but isn't that just part of having a cold?
Sinusitis is one of the most common medical problems, and a common reason for people to seek medical advice. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue in greater detail include your primary care doctor. The sinuses are small spaces in the skull, located above and below the eyes, that are lined with the same mucosa that line the nose and throat. They drain out into the throat through small holes. Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses, often occurs after a cold or other respiratory infection. Bacteria settle into the sinuses and cause worsening inflammation. Symptoms include headache, facial pain and a sensation of fullness, itchy throat and cough, nasal congestion, and thick nasal discharge. Many cases of sinusitis can be managed with simple remedies, such as nasal decongestants and irrigating the nasal passages with a saline saline (e.g. the Netty Pot). However, sometimes these methods do not work. If the symptoms have been going on for more than 2 weeks, your doctor may feel that you should take antibiotics. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor is recommended.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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