The most common type of nasal infection is infectious rhinitis. Viral rhinitis is frequently seen throughout the world and is known by the more widely used term – the common cold. It is an acute infection, with symptoms lasting for about 2 to 3 days, and resolving spontaneously without any treatment. However, an infection of the nasal cavity can often extend to the paranasal sinuses, thereby leading to acute sinusitis. Infection of the nose and sinus is broadly encompassed under the term rhinitis, although it it more correctly described by the term rhinosinusitis.
Most nasal infections are viral in origin. The sinuses are not involved in every case of rhinitis but are more likely to occur as a secondary infection following rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal lining). Sinusitis may be due to viral or bacterial pathogens but a secondary bacterial infection tends to arise due to the obstruction of the sinus openings as a result of inflammation in viral rhinitis.