Frequently Asked Questions > General ENT Questions > How does a physician determine the best treatment for acute or chronic sinusitis?

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Acute sinusitis is infection of a sinus(es) that has been present a few days to a few weeks. If a sinus infection occurs infrequently, amoxicillin or some other antibiotic would be prescribed 10-14 days. A sinus saline rinse is also helpful. Management of allergies can help as well.

Chronic sinusitis is persistent inflammation and swelling in the sinus(es) that has persisted for 3 months or more. There would be visible sinus lining thickening on x-ray in the involved sinus. Longer duration of antibiotic treatment, 2-3 weeks, is often used. Nasal steroid sprays, allergy evaluation or consideration of allergies, saline sinus irrigations can also be used. A culture of the nasal drainage can help determine appropriate antibiotic choice. A CT scan of the sinuses may also be helpful if treatment does not improve symptoms. This can help to determine if the symptoms are sinus related, and if so, which sinus and how much swelling is in the sinus or it’s opening.

Last updated on February 15, 2010 by Web Manager