Many people fall victim to sinusitis every year. In fact, about 35 million Americans will deal with sinusitis (more commonly known as a sinus infection) at least once each year.
Have you had sinusitis before? If you haven’t, do you know what symptoms to be on the lookout for? Whether your answer was “yes” or “no,” our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team is here to provide some helpful information on sinusitis, so read on!
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. The sinuses are four paired cavities (spaces) in the head, which are connected by narrow channels.
When sinuses are healthy, they’re filled with air. However, when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause a sinus infection (sinusitis). We’ve listed the most common causes of sinusitis below.
Common Sinusitis Causes
- A common cold
- Allergic rhinitis, which is swelling of the lining of the nose caused by allergens
- Nasal polyps (small growths in the lining of the nose)
- A deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity
Are Sinus Infections Contagious?
It depends on what your sinus infection was caused by. Most sinus infections are brought on by a virus, and if this is what happened to you, then yes, you can spread the virus that caused it but not the infection itself.
A virus isn’t always the cause, though. Sometimes, when the sinuses are blocked and filled with mucus, bacteria can grow and cause an infection. If your sinus infection lasts more than 10–14 days, you’re more likely to have bacterial sinusitis. In this case, you may need an antibiotic for treatment. No matter the cause, we’ve listed the common symptoms of sinusitis below.
Common Sinusitis Symptoms
- Postnasal drip (where mucus drips down the throat)
- Nasal discharge (thick yellow or green discharge from nose) or stuffy nose
- Facial pressure (particularly around the nose, eyes, and forehead), headache and or pain in your teeth or ears
- Halitosis (bad breath)
Think you may have a sinus infection? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team with any questions or concerns today!