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Sinus Infection Symptoms


Sinus Infection Symptoms

Sinuses are spaces in the skull that are filled with air and lined with mucus membranes. Under normal conditions, mucus can drain, air can circulate and few germs or bacteria are present. A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occurs when sinus openings are blocked or too much mucus accumulates and allows a fungal, viral or bacterial infection to inflame the sinuses. This often occurs following a cold or other upper-respiratory infection.

Adult symptoms

A number of symptoms may occur in adults who have a sinus infection. They include post-nasal drip and sore throat, halitosis, loss of the sense of smell, a cough that is often worse at night, fatigue, fever and nasal congestion and discharge. A headache that is characterized by pain behind the eyes, pressure-like pain, facial tenderness or toothache are also possible symptoms.

Symptoms in children

In children, a sinus infection is suspected when cold symptoms that were improving begin to worsen. They may have a high fever with darkened nasal discharge for at least three days, or they may experience nasal discharge, with or without fever, for more than 10 days that shows no sign of improvement.

Antibiotics are not usually necessary to treat sinus infections. Home care is normally sufficient. This includes inhaling steam, using a humidifier, applying warm cloths to the face, using a Neti pot to cleanse the sinuses, drinking plenty of fluids and using a saline nasal spray. Complications can occur, however, so anyone with symptoms of a sinus infection that does not respond to home care should seek medical attention.

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