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What are the Symptoms of a Sinus Infection: Your Sinusitis Guide

Do you have a stuffy or runny nose, facial pain, or pressure in your head? You might also be experiencing a cough and a low-grade fever. While you may think it’s just a common cold, these symptoms indicate a sinus infection.

Sinus infections are a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. 

Wondering what are the symptoms of a sinus infection? Before diving into the signs of a sinus infection, let us first understand what a sinus infection is. 

What is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection or sinusitis is a common problem worldwide. Approximately 31 million individuals in America experience sinusitis each year. 

It happens when the air pockets inside your face bones (sinuses) get swollen or infected. Mostly, it’s because of viruses, but allergies or bacterial infections can cause it too. 

What are the Symptoms of a Sinus Infection?

young women with Sinus Infection

The signs of a sinus infection can vary from individual to individual, ranging from mild to severe. So, what are the symptoms of a sinus infection? 

Some of the most common signs & symptoms of a sinus infection include the following:

  • Sinus pain and pressure

When the fluid gets stuck in the sinuses, it can create a buildup of pressure and result in severe pain. The affected sinuses can be tender to the touch, and individuals may feel the need to sneeze but find it challenging to do so.

You may feel discomfort in the cheeks, around the eyes, nose, and forehead, where the sinuses are located. Bending over can exacerbate the pain; in some cases, it can disrupt sleep due to its intensity.

In addition to pain and pressure, sinusitis can cause nasal tissue swelling.

  • Nasal Congestion

When we speak of the symptoms of a sinus infection, nasal congestion is one of the most commonly visible signs. 

This infection occurs when fluid accumulates in the sinuses, creating an environment conducive to the growth of viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The accumulation of fluid and subsequent inflammation causes congestion.

It mainly emerges when the sinuses become inflamed or infected, and the nasal passages are blocked, causing breathing difficulty and pressure around the nose.

  • Headaches

Headaches are another common symptom of a sinus infection. The inflammation of the sinuses can cause pressure to build up in the head, leading to headaches.

  • Facial Pain and Pressure

Facial pain and pressure are also common symptoms of a sinus infection. You can feel this pain and pressure around the nose, eyes, and forehead, which can be particularly intense when bending over or lying down.

  • Postnasal Drip

Postnasal drip is a condition that occurs when mucus from the sinuses drips down the back of the throat, causing a sore throat, coughing, and difficulty swallowing.

  • Fatigue

Fatigue is a common sinus infection symptom, as the body works to fight off the infection. It is essential to rest when experiencing sinusitis to speed up the healing process.

  • Reduced Sense of Smell and Taste

Inflammation and infection of the sinuses can cause a reduced sense of smell and taste. This is because the sinuses produce mucus that helps moisten the nose and improve the sense of smell.

  • Fever

While not always present, a fever can indicate that the body is fighting off an illness, a common symptom associated with a sinus infection.

  • Coughing

A sinus infection causes mucus and fluid to back up, making the throat itch or feel choked. Some people cough to clear their throat repeatedly, but others experience uncontrollable coughing.

  • Brightly colored mucus

A sinus infection can cause viruses, bacteria, or fungi to invade the mucus, which can alter its color. Many individuals with sinusitis report coughing up green or yellow phlegm or blowing out brightly colored snot from their nose.

Additionally, sinusitis can stimulate excessive mucus production, making it difficult to clear the sinuses even with frequent nose blowing.

  • Bad breath

When experiencing a sinus infection, the mucus produced may emit an unpleasant odor, leading to poor breath or a foul and bad taste in the mouth.

  • Tooth pain

Intense pressure in the sinuses can result in pain in the gums, leading to toothaches, gum pain, or general mouth discomfort.

Diagnosing a Sinus Infection

Diagnosing a Sinus Infection

Now that you know what are the symptoms of a sinus infection, are you familiar with how the condition is diagnosed?

Diagnosing a sinus infection usually involves a physical exam and a discussion of your symptoms. The doctor may also order a CT scan or MRI to better look at the sinuses and determine the extent of the infection.

How Do You Treat a Sinus Infection

There are various ways to ease the symptoms of sinus infections with home remedies. Sinus infection treatments depend on the severity of the condition and the cause.

Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and decongestants can help to relieve symptoms. Bacterial infections may require antibiotics to treat them.

While many sinus infections can resolve without medical intervention, the following treatments may offer relief:

  • Try using a warm compress to alleviate discomfort and pressure by loosening up the liquid in the sinuses.
  • Use a nasal wash or sinus rinse. You can purchase it online from drug stores.
  • Taking antihistamine tablets to lower inflammation in the sinuses. These are available in drugstores, supermarkets, and online platforms.
  • Using a nasal decongestant spray can help clear the sinuses and relieve pressure. You can also buy these sprays from supermarkets, drugstores, and online. 

Remember- It’s important to avoid using decongestants for an extended period without consulting a doctor, as they can exacerbate congestion if used for too long.

Get Expert Advise from Professionals at Periodontal Specialists Today!

Not only knowing what the symptoms of a sinus infection are, is crucial, but it is also essential to understand when to see a doctor for the same.

A person needs to consult their doctor if:

  • Symptoms persist for more than ten days without improvement.
  • Fever lasts for more than 3-4 days.
  • The pain is severe.

If you suspect a sinus infection, seeking medical attention to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is essential. Request an appointment with Periodontal Specialists for expert advice from the professionals.