What's the difference between chronic sinus infection and chronic sinus disease?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 4/17/2013 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I've read definitions online, but I don't see any difference. Definitions I found say "disease" is caused by infection.

I've had a headache since wreck 4 years ago, broken nose, deviated septum, laceration in forehead. Antibiotics may stop the symptoms for a few weeks, but then it returns. IV antibiotics clear things up and lessen pain for up to a month. I've even had sinus surgery, but the ENT did not repair the septum. He now says no antibiotics, just see a neurologist, and he ordered a sinus CT.

I saw my allergist, who said start Zyrtec, continue budesonide in the sinus wash, take allergy shots weekly instead of bi-weekly, trying the two types of sinus sprays I've already tried - antihistamine and steroid, keeping my journal. I'm very willing to try! Astepro last night dried me up until morning, but headache didn't lessen.

Appt with neurologist in 3 weeks. Thank goodness for tramadol! Last time he ordered a brain MRI which showed completely blocked maxillary sinus. Previous CT showed infection. The new CT shows "sinus disease." Changing the name of the problem is not treatment.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 4/17/2013 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Sinus disease can be caused by a blockage, injury, or infection (and probably other things I'm not thinking of right now.) So, to answer your basic question, sinus infection is a cause, sinus disease an outcome. Infections are most often caused by bacteria, but can also be fungal.

To complicate things more, sinus infection is more common when a blockage is present, and more difficult to treat as it tends to recur. Enough antibiotics for a long enough period will usually cure an infection. Getting rid of the congestion or blockage will help keep it from coming back.

It finally took me five days in the hospital on three IV antibiotics to kick my recurring ethmoid sinusitis.
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 4/17/2013 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Judy.

I consider my left max sinus to still be partially blocked by the deviated septum. I also have relief when I'm in the hospital with IV antibiotics (too many times). It always comes back within a couple months. I don't have ethmoid sinuses anymore since the sinus surgery. The frontal and max openings were drilled wider, but that only made things worse.
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