Physicians routinely use the term rhinosinusitis ('rhino' = nose; sinus = air-filled cavity behind the upper facial bones) or simply 'sinusitis' to refer to an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. Sinusitis may involve both the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity and the 4 sinus pairs - frontal, ethmoid, maxillary and sphenoid paranasal sinuses. The mucous secretions found in the nasal passages of a sinusitis sufferer are directly related to the ongoing pathologic changes in both the surrounding bone and tissue.
Sinusitis is the most common chronic condition diagnosed in the United States affecting an estimated 14% of the population. The direct medical costs of sinusitis amount to billions of dollars annually. Indirectly, the costs of treating sinusitis are greatly magnified by the staggering amount of lost hours of productivity at work and school. Current methods of cost analysis indicate that sinusitis usurps nearly 1% or the entire Gross National Product.