What Is Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) and What Causes It?

Sinusitis, another name for a sinus infection, is a painful illness characterized by congestion and pressure inside the nose. A great deal of sinusitis cases are viral and will resolve without treatment. It is important to avoid spreading viral sinusitis to others by washing hands often and using hand sanitizer.

Sinusitis could be caused by bacteria, or even a fungus in extremely unusual circumstances.

Sinusitis often has similar symptoms to the common cold and allergies, so being familiar with these conditions can help a patient get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

What kinds of sinus infections are there?

The duration and frequency of your sinus infections determine the specific type you have.

  • Acute sinusitis: According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, this form of sinus infection lasts fewer than 4 weeks. It is not an unusual symptom of respiratory illnesses like the common cold. Acute bacterial sinusitis is another capacity motive. 
  • Subacute sinusitis: Subacute sinus infection might end everywhere from 4 to 12 weeks. 
  • Recurrent acute sinusitis: An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if it takes place 4 or more times within a year, with each episode lasting seven days or greater. 
  • Chronic sinusitis: infections of the sinuses that last longer than a month or reoccur often. 

You need to seek advice from the specialist doctor if you have any of the above kinds of sinus infections.

Signs of chronic sinusitis

1. Headache

 Discomfort in the head is a common symptom of sinusitis. Headaches commonly manifest in the temples, upper jaw, teeth, interorbital space, eyes, and neck. The affected sinuses are the source of discomfort. The frontal sinuses are one of the four sets of sinuses in your head and are located close to the forehead. The maxillary sinuses sit near the top of the cheekbones. Between your eyes are a pair of sinuses called the ethmoid. Just behind your ethmoid sinuses are your sphenoid sinuses.

2. Nasal obstruction

Narrowing of the nasal passages due to inflammation and swelling makes breathing more difficult. Nasal congestion, sometimes known as a “stuffy nose,” can make it difficult to smell or taste anything and can disrupt sleep. The first aid for nasal congestion involves inhaling steam from a hot water bowl. 

3. Thick discharge, usually yellow or green

You know that mucus typically looks and feels a certain way. Usually clear, it has a low viscosity and a thin consistency. Sinus infections are associated with thicker nasal discharge, sometimes a darker shade of yellow or green.

4. Facial softness

The skin on your face may be especially touchy. This can happen everywhere on the face, including the brow, cheeks, and bridge of the nostril.

5. Fatigue

You will feel more exhausted than usual as your body fights the sinus infection. Sinusitis-related respiratory problems, headaches, and sleep deprivation can all contribute to exhaustion.

6. Fever

Fever is described as having a core frame temperature of 100. Four ranges of Fahrenheit or greater are now and again visible in sinusitis patients. An over-the-counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) will help alleviate the pain and fever related to sinusitis. Before giving your infant any type of pain medicine, talk to their health practitioner.

7. Cough

Postnasal drip is the leading cause of coughing during a sinus infection, and it frequently comes hand in hand with significant throat irritation. A sinus infection can cause a dry, hacking cough that may tickle your throat. Drinking beverages or lying down may not alleviate your cough, and may even make it worse.

8. Poor hygiene

When you have a sinus infection, the mucus that runs down the back of your throat might cause bad breath. Your saliva may become thicker and more mucus-like.

9. Puffy eyes

Puffy eyes and a puffy face may be signs of acute sinusitis, which makes it hard to breathe through the nose. However, when you have swelling around your eyes, your sinus infection may have migrated into your eyes and impaired your eyesight. Before your signs and symptoms get any worse, you should definitely see a physician.

10. Affected taste and smell sense

It is tough to enjoy your favorite foods when you can not smell or taste them properly due to a stuffy nose. Order your go-to pizza or whip up your favorite dish, preferably one with some spice and aroma, to test your sense of taste and smell. You may have a sinus infection if you can hardly smell or taste anything.

Where do sinus infections come from?

Specific triggers for sinusitis include:

  • The common cold.
  • The flu (influenza).
  • Bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • The Haemophilus bacterium 
  • Bacteria called Moraxella catarrhalis
  • Having seasonal and nasal allergies


  • Antibiotics. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics if they believe a bacterial illness is to blame. Take these for the recommended 10-14 days if you have acute sinusitis. It could be much longer if the sinus infection is chronic. Bacterial infections are the only kind that antibiotics can treat. If your sinusitis is due to a virus or anything else, they will not help. 
  • Painkillers. Sinusitis sufferers frequently use OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Take these exactly as directed and for no longer than 10 days. Consult your physician to determine the best option for you.
  • A bioelectric sinus apparatus. The sinuses will clear up because the microcurrents will stimulate the nerve fibers there. It is available without a prescription and relieves sinusitis symptoms like congestion, discomfort, and inflammation. 
  • Decongestants. The medication helps reduce sinus mucous. Nasal sprays are one delivery method. Some of the others come in pill form. Nasal decongestant sprays can worsen congestion if used for longer than three days. Read and comply with all label instructions.
  • Anti-allergy meds. Untreated allergies are a leading cause of sinusitis. Allergy testing is something you should consider if you have never had them before but suspect you might suffer from them. Medication (such as antihistamines) and avoiding your triggers can assist if this is the case. 

Allergy shots are another therapeutic option, as they work overtime to reduce sensitivity to the allergens that trigger your symptoms.


Symptoms of a sinus infection can include pressure and congestion. Sometimes medical attention is necessary, and other times home care is sufficient. Call an ENT specialist in Lahore for a follow-up appointment if your signs and symptoms worsen or if you have any other concerns. Sinusitis rarely results in a brain infection, but it can produce other dangerous effects.


1. How long do sinus infections last?

Sinus infections (also known as sinusitis) can be either acute or persistent. Ten days to eight weeks are the typical duration of an “acute” sinus infection.  The duration of a “chronic” infection is even greater.  It persists; things may look better for a while, but eventually revert to how they were before. Sinus infections that are chronic might linger for months. 

2. Can sinusitis have an effect on the ears?

Sinus pressure has far-reaching effects that are not limited to the nasal passages. Earache, vertigo, and a blocked-up sensation in the ears are some possible side effects.

3. What are some sinus-unfriendly foods?

You should avoid dairy products if you frequently get sinus infections. Refined sugar is pro-inflammatory and contributes to mucus production, thus it is best to limit intake as much as possible. Tomatoes (which contain histamines), chocolate, dairy, gluten, and fruits like bananas might create congestion, so it is best to avoid them.

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