Sinus infection is characterized by an infection of the lining tissues of the sinuses within the skull. The resulting inflammation leads to blockage of the openings that allow drainage of fluid from the sinus. Early symptoms and signs of a sinus infection are often related to the respiratory infection (such as a cold) that led to the inflammation of the sinus tissues. Symptoms can include pain or pressure sensations over the involved areas of the face along with facial tenderness and swelling. Stuffy nose, or nasal congestion, can occur as well as drainage or discharge from the nose. Cough may be present, and sometimes patients have fever.
Other symptoms can include earache, pain in the jaw or teeth, nausea, sore throat, and a decrease in the sense of smell. Discharge (postnasal drip) may be present in the back of the throat that produces cough and bad breath. Sneezing, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, visual disturbances, and a feeling of fullness in the ears can accompany a sinus infection.
Sinus infection causes
A sinus infection occurs when the sinuses become blocked and fluid is unable to drain from the sinuses. In this environment, bacteria or viruses (rarely, fungi) can proliferate and cause an infection. Conditions that can cause sinus blockage and lead to sinus infection include the common cold, nasal polyps, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), or a deviated nasal septum.
Other sinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms and signs
- Bad Breath
- Facial Pain
- Facial Pressure Sensation
- Facial Swelling
- Facial Tenderness
- Feeling of Fullness in the Ears
- Jaw Pain
- Nasal Congestion
- Nasal Discharge
- Postnasal Drip
- Sore Throat
- Tooth Pain
- Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth
- Visual Disturbances
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Allergies Quiz: Symptoms & Home Remedies
What are the causes of allergies? This online quiz challenges your knowledge of common food and household allergens,...
Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take this quiz to learn the truth behind the infectious, contagious, uncomfortable disease known as the common cold. Test your...
Picture of Sinuses
The sinuses are an air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. See a picture of the Sinuses and learn more about the...
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms & Treatment
Sinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms can include headaches, a sore throat, and toothaches. Antibiotics and home remedies can...
Examples of Medications for Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Signs
- Amoxicillin (Amoxil) vs. Doxycycline (Vibramycin)
- Amoxicillin (Moxatag) vs. Azithromycin (Zithromax)
- Amoxicillin vs. Ceftin
- Amoxicillin vs. Ceftriaxone
- Amoxicillin vs. Penicillin
- Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, Augmentin XR, Augmentin ES-600, Amoclan)
- azithromycin (Zithromax): For COVID-19
- Bactrim vs. Cefdinir
- cefaclor (Raniclor)
- cefixime (Suprax)
- cefuroxime, Ceftin, Zinacef
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Interactions
- Doxycycline vs. Azithromycin
- Doxycycline vs. Bactrim
- Doxycycline vs. Cipro
- Doxycycline vs. clindamycin
- erythromycin (Ery-Tab, PCE)
- fluticasone furoate nasal spray (Veramyst)
- Keflex vs. Penicillin
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) Antibiotic
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
- Levaquin vs. Zosyn
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- Metronidazole vs. Ketoconazole
- pseudoephedrine (Oral, Afrinol, Sudafed)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. azithromycin
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter