Sinusitis - Symptoms

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

The basic symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are the same: headaches, a blocked and congested nose, fatigue and the feeling of dizziness.

A sinus infection causes headaches and a general feeling of exhaustion.

Symptoms of acute sinusitis

The type and location of headaches caused by acute sinusitis depend on the particular sinus cavity that is inflamed. Most commonly, the headaches cause pain behind the forehead and around the eyes. This can be accompanied by constant pressure behind the eyes and in the location of the infected sinus cavity.

On bending down, coughing or sneezing, this pain is often amplified. Another symptom of a sinus infection is a slightly elevated temperature.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis

If an acute sinusitis turns chronic, further symptoms such as a restricted sense of taste and smell, yellow nasal secretions and swelling of the face occur.

Moreover, the following symptoms are common:

  • husky voice, feeling the need to clear your throat
  • constant flow of secretions (Postnasal Drip)
  • earache
  • bad breath/halitosis
  • swollen eyes
  • formation of nasal polyps
  • dizziness

Progression of symptoms to chronic sinusitis

If an acute sinusitis is treated in time, then symptoms will recede in 60-80% of cases after 2-3 weeks and eventually disappear completely.

Patients who suffer from sinusitis due to anatomic peculiarities often experience sinusitis in 2 phases:

  • In Phase 1 the typical symptoms of a cold as well as increased temperature and general body aches appear because sinusitis is often accompanied by a cold and flu infection. After this first infection the symptoms recede again.
  • In Phase 2 the symptoms drift into the background but do not completely disappear. Now a low-grade infection can trigger the resurfacing of the symptoms, often these are less strong but much more stubborn and difficult to get rid of.

Along with the general feeling of fatigue and uncomfortable pressure behind the eyes, patients often experience a constant flow of secretions down the throat- this is the so called postnasal drip syndrome.

In rare cases, the lack of timely treatment of chronic sinusitis can lead to serious complications. The sinus infection can spread to neighbouring parts of the body such as the eye socket, the meninges or the middle ear (especially in small children). In these cases an operation might be a necessary intervention.

Chronic sinusitis – a frequently recurring illness

Frequently recurring illnesses or persistent symptoms are indications of chronic sinusitis.

Anatomic peculiarities such as narrow passages in between the nose and the sinuses or a deviated nasal septum can be the cause of chronic sinus infections. Chronic sinusitis can then reoccur more than 4 times per year- often without recession of the symptoms in between episodes.

Physical Training with PEP-devices can be a suitable tool to keep symptoms in check. One might also want to consider an operation.

Chronic Sinusitis - Treatment

Which treatments help when suffering from sinusitis? Chronic sinusitis in particular is known to be resistant to therapy, however, taking the right measures can reduce symptoms of chronic sinusitis considerably. [ more ]