What Is Sinusitis?

If you have recurring sinus pain and pressure, you’re not alone. Approximately 31 million Americans suffer from sinusitis.1 If you’re one of them and continue to battle sinus pain, headaches, and emotional drain for 12 weeks or more no matter what treatments you try, you may be dealing with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).1,2

Physical Suffering3

  • Headaches
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Nasal discharge that isn’t clear
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Upper tooth pain
  • Bad breath

Emotional Struggle2

  • Limiting physical activities
  • Taking sick days from work
  • Being too ill to socialize
  • Nasal discharge that isn’t clear
  • Having problems sleeping

Sinusitis may also affect your relationships. You may be embarrassed by symptoms and may avoid social situations. You may also feel hopeless about finding a treatment option that brings you relief.2

Types of Sinuses4

To better understand sinusitis, let’s first discuss your sinuses. Within your skull you have four pairs of paranasal sinuses, these are air-filled spaces behind your nose, cheeks and forehead. Inside each sinus is a mucus layer and cells covered with cilia (little hairs) that trap and push out bacteria/pollutants that enter the nasal cavity.

A woman feeling a sense of freedom standing on the edge of a cliff and throwing her arms out.

CRS is the inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining of the nasal passages and sinuses.3 This can stop your sinuses from draining properly. Mucus and fluid build-up in the sinuses can lead to sinus infections, which means more inflammation and pain.3

The length of suffering5 will help to categorize your sinusitis type (see chart below).

  • Sinusitis Symptoms
  • Symptom Duration
    Up to 4 weeks
    Sinusitis Type
  • Symptom Duration
    Longer than 4 weeks but less than 12 weeks
    Sinusitis Type
  • Symptom Duration
    12 weeks or longer
    Sinusitis Type
  • Symptom Duration
    Occurs 4 or more times in a year, but can go away between episodes
    Sinusitis Type
    Recurrent acute sinusitis

Some people struggle for years before finding relief – in a survey of 400 CRS sufferers; over half had suffered for 15 years or more.2

How Your ENT Specialist Might Diagnose Symptoms5

Your provider may ask you questions about your symptoms and health history, and take a sample of your nasal discharge to see what kind of infection you might have.

Depending on the exam results, they may recommend other tests. One test lets them examine the inside of your nose with an endoscope (a scope with a light attached)

Getting A CT Scan

Your provider may want to do a computed tomography (CT) scan that creates images of the inside of your sinuses. It may help them more accurately diagnose your condition and select the best treatment option for you.5 A CT scan is also used with our offices image guidance system (IGS) to help us navigate your sinuses during in-office procedures.

An example image of a CT Scan image.Safety Information

Balloon sinus surgery has associated risks, including tissue trauma, bleeding, infection, and possible ophthalmic injury. Patients should always discuss their individual needs and the potential risks and benefits of any treatment or procedure with their doctor.

This therapy is not for everyone. Please consult a healthcare professional. A prescription is required. For additional information, please visit Medtronic’s website at www.medtronicent.com.

For supplementary information on the NuVent EM Sinus Dilation System please visit www.sinusitissurgery.com


  1. Rosenfeld RM, Andes D, Bhattacharyva N, et al. Clinical practice guidelines: Adult sinusitis. Otolaryngology Head Neck Surg. 2007;137:S1-S31.
  2. Data on File. Medtronic, Inc.
  3. American Rhinologic Society. Adult Sinusitis. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/adult_sinusitis. Accessed September 16, 2015.
  4. American Rhinologic Society. Sinus Anatomy. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/sinus-anatomy. Accessed September 16, 2015.
  5. American Rhinologic Society. Sinusitis Q&A. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/sinusitis_q_a? Accessed October 16, 2015.