Medically known as rhinosinusitis, a sinus infection occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often persists even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria, or rarely fungus, may cause a sinus infection. Other conditions such as allergies, NASA; polyps, and tooth infections can also contribute to sinus pain and symptoms.
Chronic vs. Acute
Acute Sinusitis only lasts for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than four weeks. An acute infection is usually part of a cold or other last for more than twelve weeks or continues to recur. Specialists agree that the main criteria for sinusitis include facial pain, infected nasal discharge, and congestion.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common to both acute and chronic forms. Seeing your doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, to find the cause, and to get treatment.
Pain in your sinuses
Pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes as well as behind your nose. Any of these can hurt when you have a sinus infection.
Inflammation and swelling cause your sinuses to ache with a dull pressure. You may feel pain in your forehead, on either side of your nose, in your upper jaws and teeth, or between your eyes. This may lead to a headache.
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat. This is called postnasal drip and it may cause you to cough at night when you’re lying down to sleep, and in the morning after getting up. It may also cause your voice to sound hoarse.
Throat irritation and cough
As the discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from the bed. It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.