Will Sinusitis Resolve on Its Own Over Time?

Your nose is important for breathing, smelling, and filtering the air as it enters your body, and your sinuses are a part of how that process works. This part of your nasal cavity is referred to as the paranasal sinuses and is composed of four parts: maxillary, frontal, ethmoid, and sphenoid. Air and mucus flow through your sinuses and drain into your nose, which moves through your nasal passages and nasopharynx to drain your throat.

Upper respiratory illnesses are very common, and sinusitis is a form similar to the common cold that leads to congestion, headache, and decreased smell. Treating the illness isn’t difficult, but can it be clear on its own, and what are the chances of it coming back? Let’s explore this by looking at the basics of sinusitis, the timeframes of acute and chronic versions of this condition, and how necessary treatment is for it.

If you live in the Kissimmee or Orlando Florida area and you’re struggling to relieve your sinusitis or other upper respiratory problems, Drs. Wade Han, Elvira Livigni De Armas, and their experienced medical staff at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center can help.

Causes and symptoms of sinusitis

Also referred to as sinus infections or rhinosinusitis, this is the inflammation of your sinuses or the swelling of the sinus tissue that bacterial or viral infections or allergies can cause. Other common causes include colds (rhinovirus) and influenza, and the risk factors that increase your chances of sinusitis are asthma, polyps, deviated septum, smoking, and a weakened immune system.

Any of these can lead to the characteristic irritation, swelling, congestion, pressure, and pain associated with this upper respiratory condition. It can also lead to post-nasal drip, runny nose, ear and teeth pressure, fever, bad breath, cough, headache, and fatigue. 

Acute and chronic time frames

There are different types of sinusitis that vary based on the cause of the infection and have different time frames, such as:


This is the short-term version of the condition (often due to colds, other viral infections, and seasonal allergies), and while it often lasts for about 10 days, you can deal with it for up to a month. Subacute sinusitis is often caused by bacterial infections and some types of seasonal allergies and can last up to 12 weeks.


This form lasts for over 12 weeks, generally has less severe signs than acute sinusitis, and can be caused by bacterial infection. Structural nasal problems and persistent allergies can also lead to chronic sinusitis.

There is also a form of recurrent acute sinusitis, which is when you have four or more episodes of this illness in a year, with each one lasting at least a week.

The necessity of treatment

While the symptoms of the condition can go away by itself, there is a good chance of another infection, depending on the cause. Viral infections will likely go away when the virus clears, but bacterial infections often need to eliminate the bacteria. If structural problems like a deviated septum are causing the problem, it will need to be treated as they can cause more serious infections.

So the question of whether it will go away on its own is nebulous without knowing the cause, but viruses are more likely to unless it’s a particularly bad strain. If you haven’t seen a change or improvement in symptoms after about a week to 10 days, make an appointment with Drs. Han, Livigni De Armas, and their team at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Myths and Facts About Ear Tubes

Myths and Facts About Ear Tubes

Your ears need to stay clear for air and fluid to travel through, and many problems can make that simple function difficult. Ear tubes are a surgery done to help, but there is a lot of confusion about their use and safety. Let’s get the facts.
What Causes Allergies in Adulthood?

What Causes Allergies in Adulthood?

Allergies are a problem that can affect people for a variety of reasons, including environmental factors and specific foods or substances. But what is likely to lead to allergies in adults? Read on to find out more.
When Does a Deviated Septum Require Treatment?

When Does a Deviated Septum Require Treatment?

The nasal cavity inside your nose is important for many reasons, but it can be affected by conditions like a deviated septum. This problem isn’t always dangerous, but when do you need to get medical attention for it?
Breathe Easy this April: Your Guide to Allergy Relief

Breathe Easy this April: Your Guide to Allergy Relief

With the changes in weather often comes sniffling, sneezing, hives, and other signs of allergies for millions. Seasonal allergies are an annoyance that makes your life difficult, but there are ways to breathe easier this Spring.
Little Known Causes of Ear Infections

Little Known Causes of Ear Infections

The ears are essential for us to hear and maintain balance, but unfortunately, problems like ear infections are a common illness that affects them. Read on to find out about some lesser-known causes of infection and how to treat them.

Which Type of Hearing Loss Are You Experiencing?

Problems with hearing loss affect millions of people of all ages, and how your problems get treated will depend on what kind of loss you’re dealing with. Read on to find out your problem and how it can be helped.