Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

Sinus infection or sinusitis facts

  • Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
  • Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
  • Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
  • Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
  • Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
    • sinus headache,
    • facial tenderness,
    • pressure or pain in the sinuses, in the ears and teeth,
    • fever,
    • cloudy discolored nasal or postnasal drainage,
    • feeling of nasal stuffiness,
    • sore throat,
    • cough, and
    • occasionally facial swelling.
  • Symptoms of a bacterial sinus infection include
    • facial pain,
    • pus-like nasal discharge, and
    • symptoms that persist for longer than a week and that are not responding to over-the-counter (OTC) nasal medications.
  • Sinus infection is generally diagnosed based on the patient history and physical examination.
  • Bacterial sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotics.
  • Early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections.
  • Ear Nose Throat ( ENT), pulmonary, allergy, infectious disease specialists, and maxillofacial surgeons may need to be consulted for various treatments of sinusitis or sinus infections.
  • Home remedies for sinus infections include over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), decongestants, and mucolytics. Nasal irrigation can be accomplished with a Neti-pot or rinse kit (nasal bidet).
  • Rare fungal infections of the sinuses (for example, zygomycosis) are medical emergencies.
  • Complications of a sinus infection that may develop are meningitis, brain abscess, osteomyelitis, and orbital cellulitis.
  • There are no fungal vaccines available to prevent fungal sinus infections.

Reviewed on 10/28/2015
Sinusitis Pictures Slideshow: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment


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