Acute Sinusitis: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 5/18/2017

The symptoms of acute sinusitis arise from inflammation of the lining tissues of the paranasal sinuses. This condition often occurs with rhinitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose), and symptoms can include

Other symptoms that can be related to sinusitis and sinus pain are

  • tooth pain,
  • jaw pain,
  • postnasal drip,
  • redness of the nose,
  • reddened cheeks,
  • red eyelids,
  • decreased sense of taste,
  • decreased sense of smell,
  • ear fullness, and
  • nasal drainage.

Generalized symptoms like fatigue are also typical.

Causes of acute sinusitis

Sinusitis can be caused by infections, allergies, and chemical or other irritation of the sinuses. Both bacterial and viral infections such as the common cold may lead to sinusitis. Dehydration, disease, medications that lead to drying of the airways, and lack of sufficient humidity can cause sinusitis or sinus infection.


Brook, Itzhak. "Acute Sinusitis." Jan. 5, 2017. <>.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2017

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