Sinusitis/sinus infection symptoms

Updated: May 19

Dr. K. R. Meghanadh

Sinus infections symptoms behavior

Before we find the list of sinus infection (sinusitis) symptoms, we must understand that you will find two to four sinus infection symptoms in acute sinusitis. However, you will see only one or two sinus infection symptoms in chronic sinusitis. In chronic sinusitis, the infection is present for a long time, and there will be some balance between disease and body, decreasing the number of complaints. This balance comes in as the body adapts to the infection and learns how to control it. So, the complaints will come down in the transition between acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. In chronic cases, the patient might have only one complaint: phlegm is coming from the back of the nose to the throat and must clear their throat regularly or just nose block. When we talk to such patients, they will agree that they had multiple symptoms at one phase of the disease, indicating acute sinusitis. Gradually, the number of symptoms has settled down to one or two symptoms. However, all the chronic cases will have some acute exacerbation, i.e., when there is a disturbance in the balance between disease and body, chronic will become acute. There will be a high infection in the sinus and will have more and more complaints. Again, after medication or an increase in immunity, the disease will go back to a chronic form called “acute on chronic sinusitis.”

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Sinus infection or Sinusitis symptoms

To understand how sinus infections occur, read "Problems with Sinuses" part of the What is sinus? article in detail

1. Running nose

When there is a bacterial or viral, or fungal infection in the sinus, the sinuses secrete more fluid than usual. These fluids escape from the nose.

2. Nose block

a. Secretions due to the sinus infection can make the opposite corresponding walls stick together and block the airway.

b. Due to repeated infections or a severe infection, there will be swelling of the nose walls. This swelling can reduce the breathing airway.

3. Headache

In sinusitis, fluid stagnates in the sinuses, which are supposed to be air-filled cavities. As a result, the retention of fluid can increase beyond the capacity of sinuses, causing pain or headache. Sometimes, if the sinus opening is blocked, the air in the sinus is absorbed, creating a negative pressure that causes headaches.

4. Facial pain

There will be pain between, above, and below the eyes and sometimes on top of the head. This pain will be continuous and dull aching pain.


i) A feel that phlegm is oozing out from the back of the nose to the throat.

ii) A necessity to clear the throat frequently

Phlegm moves out from the sinus into the nose and then the back of the nose, and then it slips into the throat. Most of it goes into the stomach through the food pipe. However, a part of it will go into the voice box, giving the urge to clear the throat while talking.

6. Frequent sore throat or throat pain

Fluids secreted in infected sinuses can have toxins, bacteria, and viruses. In addition, this fluid travels through the throat and can end up infecting the throat.

7. Frequent attacks of cough

Due to the fluid released from the sinus, our throat can be irritated, causing cough.

Rare sinus infection symptoms shown in eyes

Sometimes a severe infection in the sinuses can affect the eyes due to the proximity between them.

1. Redness of the eye

2. Watering of the eye

A conflict in nasal allergy and sinus symptoms

We will have almost the same symptoms for nasal allergy and sinusitis. So one way to differentiate is allergy testing and CT scan. Another way is to give allergy medication if it is a simple allergy. Then, if we get an excellent response within 4 to 5 days with the allergy medication, we can quickly rule out sinusitis.

Written by

Dr. K. R. Meghanadh

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