sinus infection

What you need to know about Sinus Infection?

Over 31 million people across US suffers sinus infection and more than $1 billion are being spent on ver-the-counter medicines to help treat it. This common infection happens mainly to those with asthma, allergies, structural blockages, and also people with weaker immune system.

In this article;

Define Sinus infection

Sinus infection or sinusitis is an inflammation in the sinuses. This is as a result of bacterial infection, viruses, and fungi. It also happens to those with a weaker immune system as they are more likely to catch bacteria. This may vary from person to person as some people get allergic fungal sinus infection. When Acute, it may last 3-8 weeks and the one last longer than 8 weeks is chronic.

Sinuses in the body are air-filled cavities as are found behind the forehead and eyebrows, within the bony structure of the cheeks, on either side of the bridge of the nose, and in front of the brain behind the nose.

So if one fails to discover it, it can be life-threatening as well, especially when it is closer to the brain. Comparatively, normal sinuses are in line with a thin mucus layer that traps germs, dust, and various other particles in the air. The presence of tiny hair-like projections in the sinuses sweep the mucus, leading it back to throat, flowing down to the stomach. This is how the body functions continuously.

If you have sinus infection, there is a disturbance in the normal flow of the mucus, causing the nasal tissues to swell.

Common symptoms of sinus infection

Do you ever get bad cold? This even happens due to sinus. A large number of symptoms include headache, runny nose, nasal congestion, and headache. The symptoms may be caused by bacterial infections. So when it comes to killing those germs, do so with the right antibiotic.

  • Nasal stuffiness or congestion
  • Greenish nasal discharge or discolored nasal
  • Tenderness of the face under eyes and nose bridge
  • Postnasal drip
  • Fever, coughing
  • Teeth pain
  • Bad breath
  • Frontal headaches
  • Fatigue

Most of the people confuse rhinitis as it carries nasal inflammatory and irritation symptoms. It involves the nasal passages and becomes the cause of allergies and cold. Allergies play an important role in chronic and rhinitis episodes. These nasal and sinus passages become swollen, inflamed, and congested, attempting to flush inhaled particles, triggering allergies.

There is a link between arthritis and chronic sinus infection. A majority population with a chronic nasal inflammation can develop a certain type of chronic sinusitis that is not infectious. There are number of appropriate treatments that also works for asthma symptoms.

Diagnosing sinus infection

Do you feel like having sinus infection? Consult your allergist. A majority of the cases have been evidenced to be treated way too easily. If you choose to deal it early, you are ignoring some symptoms and complication.

When it comes to sinus infection, it is treated depending on the symptoms it carries. So if you feel like having symptoms, get your nose, throat, and sinuses examined. When you consult your allergist, he/she will check the following;

  • Swelling the nasal tissues
  • Tenderness of the face
  • Redness
  • Discolored
  • Bad breath  

If it last longer than 8 weeks, or if the treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan is helpful to diagnose the problem. Your allergist may help diagnose the problem as they may examine your nose and sinus openings. The examination process goes like entering the thin and flexible tube into the nose, receiving the light nasal spray, making oneself feel comfortable.   

Mucus cultures;

When after multiple rounds of antibiotics, there is a mucus culture that help in determining the cause of the infection. A majority of time, mucus samples are taken from the nose. But sometimes it is necessary to get the sample directly from the sinus.

Once the bacteria is revealed successfully, this helps in treating the infection in an effective manner. If there is a fungus in the sinus, this can only be treated with antifungal agent. Additionally, the fungal sinus infection sometimes require oral steroids.

If the symptoms are strong, your allergist may consider ordering a sinus CT as it will help decide the extent of the infection. Your allergist may look for some underlying factors that may also include structural defects, allergies, asthma, or immune system weakness.


If there is a serious fungal infection, the fungus may penetrate in the nearby bone. This can only be determined through bone biopsy. Biopsies taking sinus tissue are up with flexible instruments in the nose.

Biopsies of the sinus tissue help test for immotile cilia syndrome that causes people suffer recurrent infections including bronchitis, sinus infection, and pneumonia.

Treatment for sinus infection


Antibiotics are allergist treatment for bacterial sinus infections. These are usually taken from third day to 28, depending on different types of antibiotics. Since sinuses are deep-seated in bones and limited blood supply, allergist may recommend some longer treatments for people with severe cases.

Extra use of antibiotics may cause major increase in antibiotic resistance. Thus, making patients with sinus symptoms consider taking antibiotics. Intake of antibiotic attacks the bacteria and help get rid of it.


Antihistamine blocks inflammation that is caused by an allergic reaction, helping fight allergies, leading to swollen nasal and sinus package.

Nasal decongestant sprays

If you have to intake it for 3-4 days, nasal decongestants sprays is useful. Having it intake helps with shrinking down the swollen nasal passages, helping with the flow of drainage from sinus. Overusing it makes one go in the condition where the nasal passage swell and shut.  

Topical nasal corticosteroids

When it comes to addressing the major issue linked to sinus infection, the prescribed nasal spray will help prevent and reverse inflammation and swelling. The Topical nasal corticosteroids works effectively in shrinking and preventing the return of nasal polyps. The benefit of these includes not allowing it to be absorbed in the blood streams and can be used without having addicted to it.

Nasal saline washes

When you make your routine for nasal rinses, it helps with clearing the thickened secretion from nasal passages.

Sinus surgery Once you’ve tried all the above, the last option available is the surgery. This is usually performed by an otolaryngologist. The surgeons will be targeting the Anatomical defects. Your surgeon can fix defects in the bone separating the nasal passages, remove nasal polyps, and open up closed passages. Sinus surgery is performed under either local or general anesthesia, and patients often can go home on the same day.