Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a debilitating disease caused by inflammation of the paranasal sinus tissues. CRS is one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses in the United States, affecting approximately 27 million people, or 11% of the adult population.1
CRS is also sometimes called chronic sinusitis, but due to nasal airway inflammation that precedes and accompanies the sinus inflammation, the term chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has evolved to more accurately describe this condition.
Most people occasionally experience acute sinusitis, in which the sinus tissues become inflamed for a short time due to a cold or allergies. When the nose and sinuses are accosted by a pathogen or allergen, the body’s immune response causes the sinuses to swell and become irritated or infected. With treatment and symptom management, acute sinusitis usually goes away within 10 days. However, some patients experience prolonged nasal inflammation. When symptoms persist for 12 weeks or longer, this illness is recognized as chronic rhinosinusitis.