Symptoms of Sinusitis

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Sinusitis is often confused with a cold, allergies, migraine and various other conditions. In fact many of these conditions have similar symptoms leading to confusion. Hence it is important to understand the symptoms of sinusitis before you see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Although a benign condition, in most cases the infection gets out of control if left untreated due to wrong diagnosis. In particularly unfortunate turn of events, Sinusitis can also put a patient’s life at risk! This is why it is so important to differentiate between the typical symptoms of sinusitis and red flag them immediately.

Symptoms of Sinusitis -

According to the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Rhinosinusitis is characterised by at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulties, nose congestion
  • Discharge
    The discharge is most often clear, white, and bubbly. In cases of bacterial infection, the colour of the discharge may be yellowish to green, and in particularly severe cases, brown.
  • Pain in the projection of sinuses and tenderness of the face
    If maxillary sinuses are affected, cheeks and the region below the eyes become particularly painful. Redness may be present as well. If the frontal sinuses are affected, the forehead is painful. Some patients describe the pain as a headache. Sometimes the pain may be triggered off by mere touch, and at times, can be provoked by pressure or stooping.
  • Reduced or lost sense of smell (Hyposmia)
  • Fever or malaise
  • Pain in the upper jaw and teeth

Some not so common symptoms of sinusitis include – 

  • Ear Pain
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Bad Breath

Acute and chronic sinusitis have similar symptoms but since acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses, it is often associated with cold. Fever is a symptom often experienced in acute sinusitis but not in chronic sinusitis

Rhinosinusitis may be particularly severe in some patients. Due to the close anatomical relation with surrounding vital structures such as eyes, brain, and major blood vessels, patients with the following symptoms on top of the ones mentioned above, should promptly consult an ENT specialist:

  • Bleeding from the nose or spitting blood
  • Double or blurred vision (Diplopia)
  • Sudden onset of bulging of one or both eyeballs
  • Swelling and redness around one or both eyes
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Pain in the upper jaw and teeth

Neglecting early symptoms of acute sinusitis may lead to recurrence of the same and lead to chronic sinusitis. In extreme cases we have also seen some life threatening situations caused by sinusitis. Most importantly, sinusitis impacts the quality of your life in a big way.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms either as acute sinusitis or as recurring episodes, schedule an appointment with SinusDoctor for the right diagnosis and treatment.

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Medically reviewed by SinusDoctor

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