Often headache and facial pain occur near the affected sinus: pain in the forehead and eyes are usually signs of sinusitis. Symptoms such as painful cheek bones and upper jaw generally indicate that the sinuses are inflamed. Headache radiating into the back of the head may be caused by sinusitis.
A strong pressure over the forehead and cheekbones is a typical symptom. This feeling is worse when you cough, sneeze and bend down. Often the symptoms are limited to one side of the head. The affected areas can swell up over the specific sinuses. Many patients find their sense of smell to be perceptibly limited, and they complain of unpleasant mucus flowing all the time from the nose to the back of the throat.
Difficulty breathing through your nose – caused by swelling of the nasal mucous membranes – can be a sign of sinusitis. Patients complain of a blocked nose, and they often also have thick mucus. Nasal mucus can be yellowish-green. As sinusitis is often associated with flu, patients may also have a cough, sore throat, fever and other symptoms of a cold.
An acute sinus infection not infrequently comes in two waves: First, patients get a cold with exhaustion and fever. Then there is a brief period where symptoms improve but where they can also get worse. Usually the disease is more or less resolved after two weeks. Within six weeks it has resolved in about 90% of patients. However, up to 10 percent are affected by a chronic form of sinusitis.
In contrast to acute sinusitis, the chronic form is often less remarkable. It is possible that those affected have less energy. Some feel a dull sense of pressure around the affected sinuses, while others have recurring headaches or infections. Difficulty breathing through the nose and/or an impaired sense of smell and constant flow of mucus down the back of the throat are also typical symptoms.
When the sinuses are infected, the connection between the sinuses to the middle ear can sometimes mean that a sinus infection spreads to the ears. This can lead to a middle ear infection, especially in small children. In rare cases, sinusitis can also spread to the eye sockets, the meninges or the brain.
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