An acute sinus infection (acute sinusitis) has a sudden onset. It lasts less than eight weeks, or happens no more than three times per year, with each occurrence lasting 10 days or less.
Sinus Infection Warning Signs & Symptoms
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Pain or pressure feeling in the face
Other symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Postnasal drip
- Facial swelling
- Throat itching
- Sore throat
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Loss of sense of smell
Contact a doctor if you have a sinus infection and:
- Symptoms are severe
- Headache or facial pain is severe
- Symptoms improve and then worse again
- Symptoms last more than 10 days
- Fever lasts longer than 4 days
- You’ve had multiple sinus infections in the past year
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
Sinus infections are caused by:
- Viruses (most common cause)
- Allergens or pollutants
- Fungal infection
Viruses and some bacteria that cause sinus infections may be contagious.
Risk factors for developing sinus infections include:
What Is the Treatment for a Sinus Infection?
The most common cause of sinus infections is viruses so a sinus infection is usually treated with home remedies to relieve symptoms. Home remedies to treat sinus infections may include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to reduce pain
- Decongestants or saline nasal sprays
- Talk to your child’s pediatrician before giving pain medicines, decongestants, or any cough and cold medicines to children
- Rinse the nose and sinuses with salt water a few times a day
- Warm compresses over the nose and forehead to help relieve sinus pressure
- Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water or shower
If home remedies do not relieve symptoms, a steroid nasal spray may be prescribed in some cases to reduce the swelling in the nose.
If symptoms of a sinus infection do not improve after 10 days, or you have symptoms include fever and severe pain, antibiotics may be needed.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors