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Understanding Sinus Infection

What is Sinus Infection?

Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, usually caused by an infection. When the sinuses become blocked due to allergies, viral or bacterial infections, or other factors, the mucus can build up and become infected.Sinusitis is usually caused by viruses or bacteria, and also by allergens or chemical irritants.

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How Sinus Infection Spreads

Acute sinusitis is caused by the common cold, allergy or a virus that develops excessive mucus production in the sinuses. Chronic sinusitis may develop from a bacterial infection. There are other risk factors such as hay fever, abnormality in the nasal passages (deviated septum or nasal polyps), immune system disorder (HIV or chemotherapies), smoking or frequent exposure.

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Preventing Sinus Infections

Measures help reduce the risk of sinus infection. Avoiding contact with people with colds or other respiratory infections, controlling exposure to allergens, reducing cigarette smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke, and adding humidity to the air with a humidifier can prevent sinusitis.

Sinus Infections Signs and Symptoms

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Symptoms of Sinus Infectionst:

  • Thick green or yellow mucus (runny nose)
  • Nasal congestion and shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure behind the eyes, teeth or facial tenderness
  • Bad breath
  • Headache
  • Ear pressure
  • Altered sense of smell
  • Fever
  • Mucus dripping down the throat (postnasal drip)

Sinus Infections Treatments

Depending on the cause, different infection treatments are recommended to treat bacterial sinusitis along with home care measures. Here are some of the sinusitis treatments:

Nasal corticosteroid sprays to prevent or treat inflammation such as Fluticasone or triamcinolone. Oral or injectable corticosteroids are prescribed to relieve severe inflammation and especially if nasal polyps are present.

Nasal irrigation with aerosols or saline solutions to eliminate irritants and allergies. Oral allergy medications or allergy vaccines (immunotherapy) for sinusitis caused by acute or severe allergies. Antibiotics sometimes combined with other medications for sinusitis treatment. Antimycotics for diagnosis of fungal infection. In cases resistant to treatment, endoscopic sinus surgery is recommended.

Different ways of Sinus infection treatments

Common questions about Sinus Infection


Before your online consultation, write down all your symptoms, their duration, and any relevant medical history, including allergies and previous sinus issues. It's also helpful to list any medications you are currently taking. This information will assist your healthcare provider in making a more accurate diagnosis.

Several home remedies can help relieve sinus infection symptoms. These include using a humidifier to moisten the air, staying hydrated, inhaling steam (such as from a hot shower), applying warm compresses to reduce facial pain, and using saline nasal sprays or rinses to clear nasal passages.

You should seek more urgent care if you experience symptoms such as severe headache, swelling around the eyes, stiff neck, confusion, double vision, or intense facial pain. These symptoms could indicate complications that require prompt medical attention.

Viral sinus infections are more common and usually resolve within 10 days. They often start with cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose and facial pain. Bacterial sinus infections may follow a viral infection but last longer and produce thicker, green or yellow nasal discharge. A fever higher than 100.4°F (38°C) can also suggest a bacterial infection. Online healthcare providers can help determine the likely cause based on your symptoms and their duration.

Yes, allergies can significantly contribute to sinus infections by causing inflammation and blockages in the sinus passages, which can lead to infections. Managing allergies effectively through avoidance of triggers, medication, and other treatments can help reduce the risk of developing sinus infections.

Yes, sinus infections can temporarily affect your sense of taste and smell. This is usually due to the blockage of nasal passages, which can prevent the proper perception of flavors and scents. Typically, these senses return to normal once the infection clears and congestion subsides.

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