9 Telling Signs You Have A Sinus Infection

9 Telling Signs You Have A Sinus Infection

Inflammation of the sinuses, termed sinusitis, has many causes. Common causes include allergies, colds, chronic exposure to dry air, and high altitudes. Sinusitis is often resolved with over-the-counter antihistamines, anti-inflammatory medications, and herbal remedies. Humidifiers can also be used when inflammation is caused by excessive dryness of the nasal passages.

Sometimes sinusitis is caused by bacterial infections and can follow a cold or allergies. An acute or short-lived sinus infection is managed with antibiotics, drinking more water, pain relievers, and antihistamines as needed. Treating the cause is the most important part of managing sinusitis. Below are common symptoms and how to tell when you may have an infection.

Headache and Pressure Around your Eyes and Cheeks

Sinuses are pockets located right behind your cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and above the eyes. When they become filled and inflamed due to a sinus infection, the pockets press on the nerve endings in surrounding areas. This results in a headache, which may be accompanied by a feeling of fullness or pressure around the eyes. The area may also be tender when tapped or pressed on. This feeling may also extend to the area just above the eyebrows. The headache may also get worse over time if not treated.

Congestion and Runny Nose for More Than Three Days or a Week

Colds, allergies, and sinus infections all cause nasal symptoms. One of the biggest differences between them is how long they last. Colds run their course within a few days and you feel better. Congestion caused by allergies comes and goes based on exposure. Sinus congestion related to infection, however, remains constant or may worsen if left untreated. In addition, other systemic or body symptoms related to the infection may occur.

Cloudy, Green, or Yellow and Thick Nasal Drainage

The color of nasal secretions is the other main difference between colds, allergies, and sinus infections. Colds and allergies often result in clear, or cloudy, white nasal drainage. The toxins created by bacterial growth during sinus infections cause nasal drainage to become cloudy and a yellow-green color. Blood tinged mucous may also be present due to inflamed blood vessels in the sinus passages.

Coughing and Sore Throat with Bad Tasting Discharge

The nasal passages and throat are connected in an area known as the nasopharynx. During a sinus infection, sinus drainage will drain into this area.

This is also known as post nasal drip. As the secretions reach and pool in the throat, the body will try to eliminate them by urging you to cough. The discharge produced by a sinus infection contains bacterial waste and toxins, causing a foul taste and bad breath.


The body’s natural response to any infection is to fight it via an inflammatory response. Part of the response is raising the body temperature to overheat invading organisms.

Although low-grade temperature elevations are common with colds and allergies, a fever greater than 101 degrees suggests a bacterial infection. A fever with any other symptoms of a sinus infection should be evaluated by a healthcare practitioner.

Unresolved, Recurrent Symptoms with Loss of Smell

This sinus infection occurs less and is associated with immune deficiencies and diabetes. The culprit is a fungal infection in the lining of the nose. In healthy people, the immune system can eliminate these organisms. Diabetics are at a disadvantage because the increased glucose present in blood serves as an excellent medium for fungal growth. This infection remains unresolved with traditional treatments for sinus infections.

Recurrent and dormant infections lead to damage of nerves associated with the sense of smell. Sometimes, the eye muscles may also be affected. Antifungal medications and surgical debridement may be necessary to treat and remove the damaged sinus tissue.

Earaches and Hearing Loss

The ear canals are also connected to the nose and throat at the nasopharynx. Bacteria from a sinus infection can travel into the ear canals and cause ear infections. Pressure from blocked sinuses behind the cheeks can also press on ear canals causing feelings of pain, pressure, and fullness in the ears.

Pressure on the canals from overfilled and inflamed sinuses can also interfere with hearing. Ear involvement is more common in children as the ear canals have not reached their full length and are more directly connected with the nose and throat.

Acute or short-lived sinusitis rarely lasts longer than two to three weeks. Symptoms lasting longer, or recurring are known as chronic. Chronic sinusitis can lead to damage of sinus tissues and nasal passages.

The condition becomes painful and can cause the loss of smell and taste. Severe cases may lead to hearing loss and vision problems. Chronic inflammation can be treated with plastic surgery to remove the damaged areas and reconstruct the tissues as necessary.

Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein is dual certified by both the American Board of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He completed comprehensive and specialized training programs in both disciplines from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey and the University of South Florida. He is also a respected member of the American Academy of Rhinology and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Rubinstein’s innovative approaches to sinus navigation and dilation have earned him top recognition in his field. His commitment to the future of his profession is evident in his educational service as an assistant professor for Columbia University at their esteemed New York Presbyterian campus. He is the premier specialist in various nasal surgeries and sinus treatments including allergy testing in Hudson Valley.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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9 Telling Signs You Have A Sinus Infection
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