Sinusitis (Sinus infection) symptoms

symptoms of sinus infection

Sinusitis or sinus infection is the inflammation of the cavities around the nasal passages. This can be caused by bacteria or viruses when they get into the spaces between the eyes, nose, and cheeks.

Symptoms of sinus infection

The common symptoms of sinus infection are;

  • Bad breath – Bad breath, also known as halitosis is a common symptom of sinus infection. It is caused by postnasal drip and nasal polyps which facilitate the build-up of odor-causing bacteria in the nose and sinus cavities. The breath will smell like feces. A very unpleasant smell.
  • Fatigue – Sinus infection causes a build-up of mucus in the nose and sometimes the person can struggle to blow it out and it may not come out. The person will be forced to blow several times causing them to feel tired and fatigued. Sometimes the mucus in the nose can also make the person be unable to breathe well and feel some pain. All these can make a person feel fatigued.
  • Sore throat – Excess post nasal drip can make the throat tissues to irritate and inflame. The increased build-up of mucus in the throat is the main cause of sore throat.
  • Tooth pain – Tooth pain is also one of the common symptoms of sinus infection. It usually results due to the build-up of fluids in the sinus cavities causing pressure and congestion which then causes discomfort and pain in the upper teeth. The reason why the upper teeth are affected first is that the roots of the upper teeth and jawbone are near the sinus cavities.
  • Decreased sense of smell – A sinus infection can cause a decreased sense of smell due to the congestion of the mucous membranes lining the inside of the nose. This congestion is usually caused by the over-accumulation of mucus.
  • Cough – Coughing is also common in a sinus infection. It is usually caused by postnasal drip which causes irritation in the throat and thus resulting in a cough. A cough can also be caused by the build-up of mucus in the lungs and the body will try to clear it by coughing.
  • Facial swelling – Facial swelling is also a symptom of sinus infection especially in acute sinusitis which causes the sinuses to inflame and become swollen. This inflammation and swelling cause mucous build-up and impairs drainage and the face might swell together with the areas around the eyes.
  • Fever – Fever is among the most common symptoms of sinus infection. It is as a result of the body fighting an infection which causes the body to increase energy production for the transportation of white blood cells to affected areas.
  • Ear pain – Ear pain can be caused by a sinus infection. Infection of sinuses can cause clogging of the Eustachian tube thus resulting in fullness and pressure in the ear. All these can cause hearing interference and ear pain.
  • Facial pain – Sinusitis causes swelling and inflammation of the sinuses which then ache with a dull pain. A person may feel pain in the forehead, either side of the nose, or between the eyes.
  • Postnasal drip – Postnasal drip is a common symptom of sinus infection. Thick yellow mucus or green mucus will be flowing to the back of your throat.
  • Worsening headache – A sinus headache is common and is usually caused by nasal congestion caused by obstruction of normal sinus drainage. The headache worsens with sudden head movements or straining.
  • Facial tenderness – Facial tenderness when touched is caused by facial swelling which is caused by a sinus infection. This is also a common symptom. The build-up of mucus in the sinuses is the cause of all this.
  • Clogged nose – A sinus infection can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the sinuses. This inflammation causes mucus to back up and clog in the nose causing a stuffy and runny nose.
  • Sneezing – A person with a sinus infection can sneeze occasionally due to the irritation caused by the clogging of mucus in the sinuses.
  • Sinus pressure behind the eyes and the cheeks –  This is also a common symptom in a sinus infection.  
Can a sinus infection cause pain on one side of face?

YES, facial pain from a sinus infection in most cases can affect only one side of the face but in some cases it can affect both sides. Having pain on one side of face in a sinus infection is common.

How long does facial pain last with sinus infection?

Facial pain can last for 2 to 4 weeks in acute sinusitis infection but if the infection is sub-acute, the facial pain can last upto 12 weeks and in chronic infections the pain can last for over 12 weeks.

Why am I getting sinus headache everyday?

Sinusitis due to allergy is the main cause of recurring headache everyday. This headache can keep on recurring for several days or even weeks.

Can a sinus infection mess with your eyes?

In a sinus infection the bacteria can enter into the spaces between the eyes and cause swelling of eyes. Dr. Sindwani says in rare cases a sinus infection can cause complication around the eyes. The complications can include; redness, swelling, and reduced vision, and it can also lead to blindness.

How long can a sinus headache last?

A sinus headache under can last for 10 days only but in some cases it can last longer than that.

How long does sinus cough last?

Under acute sinusitis, the sinus cough can last for less than 4 weeks but under chronic conditions, the cough can last longer than 12 weeks.

Can sinus infection cause lower tooth pain?

A sinus infection can cause lower tooth pain. The upper teeth are the first to be affected by sinus infection but the pain is later transmitted to the lower teeth too causing pain.

How do I know if my toothache is a sinus infection?

A toothache due to sinus infection is usually accompanied by pressure or tenderness around the eyes or forehead. The person can also have a bad-tasting nasal drip and thick, discolored mucus.

Can sinusitis cause brain fog?

Though not scientifically verified, but some doctors have noticed patients with chronic sinusitis also experience a brain fog.

Can a sinus infection cause heart problems?

If the sinus infection is chronic, it can lead to snoring and sleeplessness due to clogging of the nose. This can increase the risk of cardiovascular infections.

Can a sinus infection increase heart rate?

A sinus infection can actually increase the heart rate as the body tries to fight an infection. More blood will be required to be pumped to transport white blood cells to the affected areas.

Can a sinus infection raise your blood pressure?

No scientific evidence has been presented to show that sinus infection can actually raise blood pressure. But, if a person uses decongestants to ease nasal congestion, it can constrict the blood vessels thus causing a rise in blood pressure.

Can sinusitis make you feel ill?

All the symptoms associated with sinus infection like fatigue and headache can make a person to feel generally ill.

Can a sinus infection make you dizzy and tired?

Sinus infection can cause dizziness if the Eustachian tube is blocked with mucus causing it to be unable to equalize pressure in your body and thus inability to maintain balance.

Does postnasal drip cause nausea?

Excessive postnasal drip can actually cause too much mucus in the stomach and thus cause nausea. The person will then have a feeling of frequently spitting up.

Lifon Jeffrey, MD, MPH

Lifon Jeffrey, MD, MPH Is the chief editor of The Healthline medical, health and nutritional articles. His 16 years of experience in the medical field have made him to become more familiar with the daily health related problems and nutritional difficulties people have. He edits all the articles to make sure all the information is accurate, up to date and suits the medical field.

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