5 Symptoms That Could Mean You Are Suffering From Sinusitis

Nov 11, 2022
5 Symptoms That Could Mean You Are Suffering From Sinusitis
Sinus infections cause many of the same symptoms of a cold or flu — at first. But there are some key symptoms that can help you tell them apart, so you can get prompt treatment and halt the infection. Here’s what to look for.

Every year, about 31 million Americans develop sinusitis — a sinus infection typically caused by viruses or bacteria. And every year, those same people spend more than $1 billion on over-the-counter products to try to feel better.

Sinusitis can cause some of the same symptoms as a cold, including stuffy nose and sneezing. Learning to identify the symptoms of sinusitis can help you get the treatment you need quickly, to put an end to the infection and the painful symptoms it causes. 

At his practice in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles, Mani Zadeh, MD, offers sinus infection treatments that help patients feel better. Here are four symptoms he says could mean you have sinusitis.

1. Head or facial pain

Your sinuses are located behind your cheeks, nose, and your forehead. When they’re infected, inflammation inside the sinuses can wind up causing a lot of pain and pressure in these areas. 

Many people with sinus infections have very painful headaches, with symptoms primarily behind the forehead. You may also feel discomfort when you gently press on your forehead or cheeks.

2. Tooth pain

Your sinuses and mouth are related in a couple of ways. The large, maxillary sinuses are located behind your cheek bones, extending to just above your upper teeth. 

In fact, there’s a very small space between the “floor” of these sinuses and the roots of your teeth. When the sinuses are inflamed and swollen, they put pressure on your tooth roots, causing tooth and jaw pain that’s not related to decay or gum disease.

What’s more, your sinuses drain into your throat. When you have a sinus infection, the infected mucus can make your breath smell, too.

3. Thick mucus drainage

Many people with sinus infections notice that their mucus is thick and tinged with yellow or green. The change in mucus is probably due to immune system “fighter cells” battling the germs that are causing your infection, or it could be from by-products produced by those cells. 

Your mucus could also become thick if you have a fever, which can wind up depleting fluids. As with any infection, if you have sinusitis, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to help your body clear out germs and to prevent dehydration.

4. Fever

Sinus infections happen when viruses or, less often, bacteria invade your sinuses and begin to multiply. These pathogens thrive at normal body temperature.

Fever is one way your body tries to destroy the germs causing infections. By slightly raising your temperature, your body becomes inhospitable to many germs. Combined with other immune system reactions, fevers actually play an important role in staying healthy.

Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. It makes sense, then, that your body might respond by creating a fever to try to destroy the germs and put an end to the infection.

5. Fatigue

Fighting off infections is hard work, and it takes a lot of your body’s resources, including energy. When you have a sinus infection, it’s not uncommon to feel extremely tired. 

Of course, fatigue can also happen with colds, flu, and even allergies. During your office visit, we’ll be able to tell if your fatigue is caused by sinusitis or if there’s another cause.

Don’t ignore your symptoms

Without prompt treatment, sinus infections can spread and cause more serious medical issues. To get the care you need for your sinus infection, call 310-286-0123 or request an appointment online with Dr. Zadeh today.