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The Flu May Lead To Sinusitis

Did you know that viral infections are a leading cause of the onset of a sinus infection? If your immune system is weakened by the flu, you may be at risk of developing sinusitis. This is because the flu can cause the inflammation and obstruction of the nasal passages. Sinusitis occurs when the nasal passages become blocked and filled with fluid, producing an environment where bacteria and fungi can thrive.

Because the symptoms of sinusitis are similar to those of the common cold, it can be hard to distinguish between sinusitis and a passing cold virus. However, cold symptoms typically clear up within 7-10 days. Highly uncomfortable, a sinusitis infection can vary in severity and duration. Sinusitis can be categorized into four basic types:

  • Acute sinusitis. Characterized by a stuffy, runny nose and facial tenderness, acute sinusitis appears suddenly and generally lasts for about 4 weeks.
  • Subacute sinusitis. Sinuses are inflamed and swollen and mucus passages blocked for about 4-8 weeks. Subacute sinusitis is often linked to advanced bacterial infections.
  • Chronic sinusitis. Lasting 8 weeks or longer, symptoms of chronic sinusitis may be less severe than those of acute sinusitis. However chronic sinusitis may lead to complications that can require prolonged treatment, even surgery.
  • Recurrent sinusitis. Symptoms recur several times a year.

If you have persistent symptoms that linger after your flu symptoms have subsided, you should be seen by an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. Any sinus infection that does not resolve itself after two weeks should be evaluated for treatment.

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