What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an infection in the sinuses, resulting in congestion, cough, thick discharge, and pressure in the head and face. It typically occurs when something stops mucus from draining from the sinuses.


Acute & Chronic Sinusitis

In acute sinusitis, the infection will resolve in less than four weeks. In some cases, a patient may develop a bacterial infection as a result of acute sinusitis.


Sinusitis VS Covid-19

Distinguishing between sinusitis and COVID can be difficult since both conditions share many symptoms. The congestion in sinusitis can also take away the patient’s sense of taste or smell, a key symptom of COVID. The symptoms of COVID that are not present in sinusitis include body and muscle aches, chills, and shortness of breath, as well as excessive fatigue. Not sure which illness you have? Consult with a physician immediately and consider getting tested for COVID-19.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

  • Yellow-green nasal discharge that is unusually thick
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Pressure in the face and forehead
  • Congestion
  • Toothache

*Note: In addition to any of the symptoms above, those with acute sinusitis may also develop a fever. In rare cases with severe sinusitis symptoms, a patient may also develop complications that can affect the health of the eyes and the brain.

Asian little child with sinusitis girl wiping and cleaning nose with tissue in both hands

Sinusitis Treatment

Most cases of acute sinusitis caused by a viral infection resolve on their own. There are several medications, however, that can ameliorate a patient’s symptoms in the meantime, including:

  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • OTC analgesics

Patients may also consider using a sinus saline rinse to cleanse and soothe the sinus passages. Breathing hot, moist air can also help soothe the nasal passages.

What to do for sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection? In that scenario, the best treatment of sinusitis is antibiotics. Sinusitis related to a fungus may require a prescribed antifungal medication. Finally, intranasal corticosteroid sprays monitored by a doctor may be the right choice for those with recurring sinusitis.

If a patient has chronic rhinitis related to allergies that may be exacerbating or causing sinusitis, treating the allergies and avoiding triggering allergens will also be necessary.

In rare cases, endoscopic sinus surgery may be necessary to clear the sinus passages and resolve the conditions. If you are considering surgical interventions, consult with a board-certified allergist or immunologist.

Girl sneezing outside because of allergies on pollen - Sinusitis

When to See An Allergist

Patients with symptoms of sinusitis should see an allergist if they believe that existing or suspected allergies are leading to acute or chronic sinusitis. Anyone with symptoms of sinusitis should see a doctor if the condition lasts for longer than 10 days, if a fever is present, or if the condition is interfering with one’s quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Sinusitis Be Prevented?

What’s the Best Over-the-Counter Medication for Sinusitis?

Is Sinusitis Contagious?

How Long Does Sinusitis Last?