A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavity becomes enflamed. If the condition lasts for less than four weeks it is known as acute; any longer and it is classified as chronic.

Understanding the symptoms that come from a sinus infection can help ensure you seek treatment in a timely manner. The most common symptoms are outlined below.

Causes of Sinus Infections Senior man presses on nostrils

Sinusitis is caused by a virus, usually left over from an upper respiratory infection. While rare, bacteria or fungus can also lead to an infection.

Allergies, nasal polyps and even a tooth infection can contribute to the severity of your sinus infection symptoms.

Sinus Pain

The most common symptom of sinus infections is a pain in the sinuses. This is usually felt below the eyes and behind the nose.

The inflammation and swelling from the infection can lead to a dull pressure that is felt in the forehead, either side of the nose, the upper jaw/teeth and between the eyes.

Nasal Discharge

Green or yellow nasal discharge is common. You may find yourself blowing your nose more frequently as your body tries to help drain out your sinuses.

In addition to coming out of your nose, nasal discharge can drip down the back of your throat; this is known as a postnasal drip. This can lead to a tickle, itch or sore throat. You may experience a cough, especially while lying down.

Nasal Congestion

The inflammation in your sinuses can make it harder for you to breathe through your nose. This can diminish your sense of smell and taste. You may also sound a bit stuffy when speaking.

Sinus Headache

The pressure in your sinuses can make you feel like you are experiencing a headache. Often worse in the morning, a sinus headache becomes more severe when there is a change in your environment.


Postnasal drip can irritate your throat, especially if it continues over an extended period of time. This can lead to a persistent cough, which will worsen when lying down. Unfortunately, this can make sleeping difficult.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for longer than 10 days, you should make an appointment with your Willamette Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery physician today.

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