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Symptoms of sinus infection are very similar to those of the common cold. However, when due to a cold virus, such symptoms typically improve in 1-2 weeks. If you continue to have nasal symptoms that linger after having a cold, then you may have developed a sinus infection.

Blockage of Sinuses


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Symptoms of sinus infection may include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal discharge that may be thick, and greenish or yellowish in color
  • Headache (in acute sinusitis)
  • Ear pain
  • Toothache (dental pain)
  • Facial pain and pressure that increases when you lie down or lean over
  • Facial fullness or congestion
  • Nagging cough that may get worse when lying down
  • Fever
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Fever, especially in children

Most experts believe that sinus infection does not cause chronic headaches. However, alteration in sinus pressure associated with weather changes might provoke headaches in susceptible people.

References:

Acute sinusitis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 18, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2013.

Bhattacharyya N. Clinical and symptom criteria for the accurate diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2006;116(7 pt 2 Suppl 110):1-22.

Chronic rhinosinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 18, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2013.

Sinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/sinusitis. Accessed January 9, 2013.

Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed January 9, 2013.



Last reviewed August 2015 by David Horn, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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