What is a Sinus infection?

Nearly 30 million adults around the world are diagnosed with sinusitis- commonly known as a sinus infection. Sinusitis occurs when your sinus becomes inflamed or swollen. Sinus can be caused by bacteria or a virus and can sometimes be very chronic, lasting longer than 4 weeks and more than four times a year. Chronic sinusitis is caused or associated with respiratory tract infections or allergies. These 5 symptoms should help you decide whether to call your doctor.

Different type of Sinus Infections

There are different type of sinus infections, including;

Acute (lasts up to 4 weeks)
Subacute (lasts up to 4 to 12 weeks)
Chronic (lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or years)
Recurrent (several attacks within a year)

Several risk factors that increase the risk of Sinus
Having a cold
Having Allergies
Overusing decongestant nasal sprays
Swimming or driving

5 symptoms of sinus infection that need the help of a doctor

  • Head Pain: One of the most common signs of sinus infection is head pain. It usually occurs in your forehead, upper jaw, teeth, in between your eyes and in your neck. Where you experience pain depends upon which pair of the sinus is infected.
  • Thick, Colored Nasal Secretions: Another symptom of sinus infection is thick nasal secretions. The secretions can be yellow, white or tinged with blood. If you have a sinus infection you're more likely to have a stuffy nose. If the secretions drip to the back of your throat it can be difficult to clear your throat.
  • Fever: Sinusitis can be associated with a fever-a body temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. To relieve the pain Avil or Tylenol can be taken when taken as directed.
  • Fatigue: If you have sinusitis you are more likely to feel tired. Fatigue comes with other allergies too so check in with your other symptoms to make sure you have a sinus infection. Taking plenty of rest can help if you are having a sinus infection caused by fatigue.
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste: If you have a reduced sense of taste and smell you are likely to have a sinus infection. Keep tracking your symptoms to make sure it is a sinus infection.

A sinus infection can last up to 4-12 weeks. If these symptoms last for more than a few weeks you are advised to visit a CT Sinus Center. Your doctor will review your previous medical history with you and discuss your sinus-related symptoms. Discuss other environmental allergies that you might be having or other routine habits like smoking. Your exam will focus on any anatomical issues that you might be having that are aggravating your symptoms like swollen or allergic appearing nose, deviated septum and sinus lining. An in-office endoscope will be used to examine your sinus and mucus.

After your exam your doctor will personalize a treatment plan for you that will help you treat your sinus infection, he might suggest further other tests (CT scans, Allergy testing and balloon sinus dilation. A CT scan will help you diagnose whether you have a chronic or an acute sinus infection. A CT scan for patients having an acute infection will show bubbles whereas, a CT scan for patients having a chronic infection will show swelling along sinus walls. For those patients who do not respond to medication doctors at these centres have other treatments available for them. Depending on the cause of the sinus infection doctors may recommend several treatments that will help cure the sinus treatment and you will be able to breathe better through your nose.