Sinus infection, also referred to as Sinusitis, is a very common health problem, caused due to irritation and soreness occurring in the nasal passage and in the sinuses which are hollow air cavities. The infection and symptoms are mostly seen to develop as a result of cold, allergies, growth in the nasal passage, infection etc. When mucous lining of the sinuses and bones surrounding the skull are attacked and infected with germs, it causes sinus infection and thereby related symptoms like cough fever, headache start becoming visible. Sometimes acute sinus infections, if allowed to go untreated may also affect the brain; lead to organ failure or in worst cases even death.
Sinuses are hollow cavities filled with air located in the skull. There are four different pairs of them which act as a bridge between the nostrils and the nasal passage which lies behind the nose. Sinuses perform several functions like, protecting the skull, reducing its weight, and allowing vibration of voice within it. They also protect us against germs.
Person with sinus infection symptoms often complains of headache, feeling tired. Pressure around face begins to develop. Even below the eyes, near nose, cheeks, and sometimes on one side of the head. Sinus infected patients may also suffer from cough and fever, accompanied with congestion and thick, sticky, and yellowish nasal discharge.
Sinusitis is of two types. It can be acute where the infection pops up suddenly; and chronic sinus, which is long term, and most common. Acute sinuses last around 50-60 days; or infect a person at the most thrice a year each time healing the disorder within 10 days. Chronic sinuses last twenty days and the individual suffering from it get affected at least four times a year. Treatment for both types are different and can include detailed diagnoses, with causes, medicated may include injections, inhalers besides oral drugs.
Coming to Symptoms of sinus infection, the most common as already mentioned in the beginning, is headache, accompanied with several other symptoms like swelling around eyes; redness caused in nasal path; yellow sticky discharge from nose etc. Whether sinus is acute or chronic, mild or server will depend on what type of sinusitis it is; it’s location, the reason and so on.
If it is acute sinusitis it generally is seen to start with the usual, first running and then stuffy nose; facial pressure; sometimes accompanied with loss of smell. When this condition reaches the next stage there are additional symptoms like, fever, feeling of tiredness; bad breath etc. Some patients even cough hard and complain of dental pain. The discharge from nose tends to become thicker and may remain yellowish or sometimes even turn greenish. If infection is in the maxillary sinus, one will feel discomfort around eyes area or cheekbones. The person infected with it may feel the condition aggravating and discomforting if s/he bends forward. But if he sits relaxed and leans on something, s/he feels better.
If Frontal sinuses are infected then pain and discomfort in the forehead will be experienced by the patient. If Ethmoid sinuses are infected there may be pain around temple or eyes. If it is at an acute stage it will cause discomfort if person lies down and coughs. IF sphenoid sinuses are infected then symptoms will include discomfort beneath eyes, forehead and top of head. Rarely though but patients sometimes do complain of temporary vision loss due to it.
When it is a case of chronic sinus and maxillary sinuses are infected then symptoms will include pain and discomfort beneath eyes, coughing at night; sometimes also accompanied with toothache. If during this time person gets infected with cold or allergy symptoms may aggravate. When it comes to chronic Frontal sinuses it may show in the form of constant headache towards and around forehead.
Tests to diagnose the exact cause and treatment course may include X ray, MRI, CT scan, nasal endoscopy etc besides allergy tests. Doctors will study the case on the basis of present symptoms and medical history of the patient.