A sinus infection (sinusitis) shares several symptoms with the common cold. For this reason, many people go without proper treatment. For you to recover quickly, you must understand the signs of a sinus infection.
1. Discharge from the Nose or in the Throat
The most noticeable symptom of a sinus infection is the presence of discharge from the nose. This sign is similar to what you would experience with a regular cold or seasonal flu. The mucus from your sinuses may also drip down the back of your throat (postnasal drip).
The color of the discharge may help you identify whether you’re experiencing a common cold or a sinus infection. The former will often cause nasal mucus that is watery and clear or cloudy. The latter often comes with mucus that has a green or yellow tint. The discoloration is not a product of the bacteria itself. Instead, it is a result of your immune system fighting the infection by increasing white blood cells.
2. Nasal Congestion
Alongside the nasal discharge, your sinuses may be inflamed and swollen. As a result, the mucus will be unable to drain normally and will instead remain trapped, thus giving you the congested feeling.
3. Pain, Tenderness, or Pressure Around the Face
Some people believe that our sinuses are only in the nose. However, these sacs spread out around the entire nasal area and cover the space from the lower forehead all the way to the front of the cheekbones.
Because they cover a good portion of the face, you could feel pain all over this area. As mucus accumulates in the nasal passages, it may push on your nerves. As a result, you may feel tenderness, pressure, or heaviness in your face.
As mentioned earlier, mucus will block your nasal passages. This congestion adds weight to your face. As you move around, the added heaviness can throw your balance off. This symptom is especially evident when you lean your head forward.
More than the pressure in your face, a sinus infection can also cause a full headache. Congestion and inflammation can cause the muscles around your head to tighten up and lead to a headache.
6. Decreased Sense of Smell and Taste
Congested sinuses will also affect your sense of smell. Breathing through your nose will be difficult, and you will be unable to smell as well as you usually do. Your sense of smell affects your ability to taste. While you will likely still be able to tell salty apart from sweet, food may taste somewhat bland when you have a sinus infection.
7. Bad Breath
Bacteria affect the nose and sinuses when you have a sinus infection. Because of congestion, the bacteria is trapped in your nasal cavities, which can give off a foul odor. The discharge from your nose can also go to the back of your throat (postnasal drip), thus causing bad breath (halitosis).
Likewise, treatments for your symptoms may further cause bad breath. For example, saliva is necessary for moistening the mouth, neutralizing acids, and washing away dead cells. Certain medications can dry out your mouth. As a result, you may develop bad breath.
A fever is a typical indicator of an infection. Your body responds to the virus or bacteria by raising its temperature to try and kill it off. A low-grade fever is another sign of sinusitis. This symptom is more common with acute sinusitis than chronic cases.
A cough may also be a symptom of a sinus infection. As mucus drips down into your throat, it can trigger a cough. Coughing up phlegm should be a sign that this condition is more than a common cold.
Sinusitis can also cause fatigue. You may feel tired as your body tries to fight off the infection. Constant pressure on your sinuses, an irritating cough, and dizziness can also contribute to exhaustion.
Sinus Infection Treatment in Will County and DuPage County, Illinois
If you’re experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, the experts at Oak Brook Allergists can help you find relief – especially if you have chronic sinusitis. Our allergy and immunology physicians and specially-trained assistants work together to provide you with the relief you need.
Make an appointment today by calling (630) 574-0460, or you may request an appointment online.