Sinus infection

A sinus infection (sinusitis) is mostly caused by viruses or bacteria.

Overview

A sinus infection (sinusitis) is mostly caused by viruses or bacteria. It causes severe pain, in particular in the areas around the forehead and upper jaw. This is accompanied by mucus or purulent nasal a discharge of green or yellow mucus from the nose. Nasal irrigation with salt water can bring relief.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Dull pain (forehead, upper jaw, teeth, between or behind the eyes)
  • Pain worsens when head is bent forward
  • Green or yellow mucus from the nose
  • Blocked nose

Other symptoms

If symptoms persist for more than three months, we speak of chronic sinusitis.

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Viruses (often following a cold or flu)
  • Bacteria
  • Rare fungi

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Blood test (inflammatory markers)
  • Examination of nasal cavity (rhinoscopy)
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
Possible therapies
  • Mucus-loosening medication (mucolytics)
  • Anti-swelling nasal sprays
  • Painkillers
  • Antibiotics (for bacteria)
  • Surgery (very rarely)

What can I do myself?

  • Install humidifiers
  • Steam inhalations (e.g. with chamomile, sage, essential oils)
  • Nasal irrigation with salt water, or alternatively, salt water nasal spray
  • Nasal ointments
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Stop smoking

When to see a doctor?

  • Pain when pressing on the facial bones (in particular forehead, under the eyes)
  • Swollen cheeks and severe facial pain
  • Chills
  • Unusual swelling of an eyelid (the infection may have spread)

Synonyms

sinus infection, sinusitis, frontal sinusitis

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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