A sinus infection, which is also known as sinusitis, is a very common upper respiratory tract infection that affects millions of people each year. This condition is often mistaken for a common cold and many people are unaware of having it. There are certain symptoms, however, that tell you it’s not a simple cold you are having, but a sinus infection. Here are the 8 most common symptoms that everyone can notice, brought to you by Top10HomeRemedies.
A sinus infection occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed. A virus is usually to blame, and it might stick by after some upper respiratory symptoms are gone.
The infection can be either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis only lasts for a short time, while chronic infections can last for six to eight weeks and more.
If it goes untreated, sinusitis can damage the sinuses and lead to ear infections, vision loss or even meningitis. That’s why it’s important to treat it as soon as possible, once you recognize the symptoms.
Early symptoms of a sinus infection and a cold are very similar, including a stuffy nose, slight fever, a scratchy throat, and fatigue.
In the case of a cold, the symptoms start improving in three to five days and you are eventually better in a week or so. However, if the symptoms persist, then it’s probably a case of a sinus infection.
Here are some symptoms of a sinus infection that will help you distinguish it from a cold.
1. Pain in your face
One of the best ways to make a distinction between a common cold and a sinus infection is the pain you are experiencing. If you feel pressure in your face, then it’s probably an infection.
The pain will occur in and around the nose, in the upper jaw and teeth, and between the eyes. The mucus that accumulates will also cause a feeling of heaviness in the face. The pain might worsen when you move your head forward or touch the areas surrounding the sinus cavities.
2. Yellowish or greenish discharge
Discolored nasal discharge – green, yellow or blood-tinged is a certain sign of a sinus infection. The virus is to blame for coloring the discharge.
The discharge will be thick and hard to blow out of your nose if you have the infection. It’s a major sign to figure out whether you are dealing with a cold (with a clear and liquid discharge) or a sinus infection.
3. Coughing up phlegm
A cough is a common symptom of the infection, same as during a cold or bronchitis.
Coughing due to a sinus infection, however, will worsen at night and in the morning. This is because the sinuses drain the back of your throat when you lie down, triggering the cough receptor in the back of the nasal pharynx. A sinusitis cough will also produce phlegm which contains the bacteria or virus as well as inflammatory cells produced in response to an infection. If you are having trouble sleeping, sitting more upright might help you fall asleep easier.
4. Stuffy nose that lasts longer
A stuffy nose is a classic symptom of a cold as well as a sinus infection. If it’s an infection, it will last longer.
This is due to the inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. Your inflamed sinuses may also make it difficult for you to breathe through the nose. All you need to do is inhale steam or take a hot shower to thin the mucus.
5. A headache
Another very common symptom of a sinus infection is a headache, but it’s often mistaken for a tension one.
A sinus infection makes the nasal area and the forehead feel congested, which can lead to headaches which can be unilateral (on one side) or bilateral (on both sides). These usually worsen after waking up in the morning or upon bending forward.
6. Bad breath
Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is another common symptom of a sinus infection.
The back of the tongue, which resides in the throat, is home to bacteria that may cause bad breath. During a sinus infection, excess mucus goes at the back of the throat and causes bad breath. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss on a daily basis.
7. A toothache
Pain in the upper teeth is another common symptom of a sinus infection.
But don’t worry, everything is fine with your teeth! The pain occurs due to the pressure building up in the sinus cavities. It also occurs on both sides of the face.
8. Stuffy ears
Sinusitis can also cause stuffy ears and pain in case of small children. The sinuses and ears are connected inside the head, so it only makes sense that the ears will also get affected.
Here is a simple way to clear your sinuses.