Sinus Infection Symptoms and Treatment

Sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is the infection of the sinuses, which are the hollow air-filled cavities connected to the nasal passage. It is usually caused by cold, allergies, infection or abnormal growth that blocks the nasal passage. Here is a brief overview about sinus infection symptoms and treatment.

According to statistics, around 37 million Americans develop sinusitis, at least once a year.
When Does Sinusitis Occur?
Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses get blocked and develop inflammation. A sinus cavity with blocked passages is a perfect location for pathogens to multiply and cause damage to the inner lining of the cavity, causing the symptoms.

Apart from that, the air already inside the sinuses causes pressure, leading to sinus headache. In short, the sinus infection symptoms are caused by the inflammation within the sinus cavities and/or activity of pathogens.
Sinus Infection Types
Sinus infection can be classified on the basis of various factors like the location of the sinuses, specific causative agent, duration of the infection, etc.

Duration: As far as duration is concerned, sinusitis can be divided into acute (sudden onset of symptoms that last for 8 to 10 days) or chronic (lasts for more than 2 months). While chronic sinusitis occurs four to five times a year, the recurrence rate in acute sinusitis is less than three times a year. Another type is sub-acute sinusitis, which lasts for four to eight weeks.

Causative Agent: If the cause is a pathogen or an infectious microorganism like bacterium or virus, then the condition is called infectious sinusitis. If the underlying cause is an allergy or some type of structural blockage, then, it is non-infectious sinusitis. According to some studies, around 30% of patients with sinusitis do not have any infectious microbes in the sinuses or the nasal passage.

Location: Sinus infections may sometimes be named according to the location of the infected cavity. For example, if the infection is in the maxillary sinus, then the condition can be called maxillary sinusitis. Whatever may be the type, sinus infection symptoms can cause severe discomfort to the affected person.

Symptoms of Sinusitis
Some of the common sinus infection symptoms are headache, facial pressure and tenderness. The affected person may also have swollen areas around the eyes, reddened nasal passages, drainage from the nose that is similar to pus and tender facial areas (corresponding to sinus cavities). The type and severity of the symptoms may vary with the type of sinusitis, location of the affected sinus, underlying cause, etc. Let us take a detailed look at the symptoms.
Acute Sinusitis
In this case, sinus infection starts with symptoms like stuffy nose, nasal discharge, facial pain and pressure, etc. Some people may experience loss of smell too. As the condition advances, symptoms like fever, fatigue, bad breath, and post nasal drip may occur. Even cough, dental pain, etc., are noted. The nasal discharge may be thick with a green or yellow color.
If the infection is in the maxillary sinuses (under the eyes), the pain and pressure will be felt under the eyes, across the cheekbone on one side or both. This sinus infection may sometimes cause dental pain too.
In this case, the pain may worsen with movements like bending forward. The person may feel better while leaning back, but again the pain may aggravate in an upright position.