A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, occurs when the tissue lining the sinuses becomes swollen or inflamed. While healthy sinuses are filled with air, blocked sinuses fill with fluid, which allows germs to grow, resulting in infection. A sinus blockage can be caused by a viral infection, allergies, nasal polyps, or even a deviated septum. Acute sinusitis usually co-occurs with a cold or other respiratory infection and lasts less than 4 weeks. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, lasts for more than 12 weeks or is a recurring condition. Nearly 29 million Americans suffer from chronic sinus infections.
A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, occurs when the tissue lining the sinuses becomes swollen or inflamed. When this happens, you may experience pain and pressure from your teeth to above the eyes, depending on which sinus cavities are affected.
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
Often, a sinus infection is the side effect of a virus like a cold or the flu. It usually occurs at the same time as a cold or other respiratory infection. Other causes of a sinus blockage include allergies, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. Sinusitis can be acute, lasting up to 4 weeks, or chronic, lasting more than 12 weeks. Nearly 29 million Americans suffer from chronic sinus infections.
Symptoms of a Sinus Infection
Sinus infection symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- Sinus headache
- Tooth pain
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain
- Nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
Sinus Infection Treatment
Many cases of acute sinus infection will clear up on their own in 7-10 days with plenty of rest and fluids. If your sinus infection lasts longer than a week or you would like to speak about your symptoms and treatment options, speak with a healthcare professional. Our virtual doctors can talk through your symptoms to diagnose the cause of the condition and get you the right prescription medication to treat a sinus infection if needed.