Sinusitis Risk Factors, Prevention, Symptoms And Treatment


The cavities within your nose (sinuses) swell and become inflamed when you have acute sinusitis. As a result, drainage is hampered and mucus accumulates.

It could be challenging to breathe through your nose if you have severe sinusitis. You could feel as though your face and the region surrounding your eyes are enlarged, and you might experience a headache or sharp facial discomfort.

Colds are the main cause of acute sinusitis. Most instances are over in a week to 10 days, barring the emergence of a bacterial infection. You could just require home remedies to cure acute sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is sinusitis that persists for longer than 12 weeks despite medical therapy.


The most typical cause of acute sinusitis is the common cold, a viral infection. Bacterial infection can happen occasionally.

How to check if you have Sinusitis?

Most individuals with acute sinusitis do not require medical attention.

If you experience any of the following, speak with your doctor:

  • Longer-lasting symptoms than a week or so
  • Symptoms that first seem to improve before deteriorating
  • A recurring fever
  • A background of persistent or recurrent sinusitis

If you have any symptoms or indications that might point to a dangerous infection, consult a doctor right away.

You may have the following:

  • Eye pain, edoema, or redness.
  • High fever 
  • Perplexity
  • Additional visual alterations, such as double vision
  • Rigid neck

Risk Factors

If you have the following, you may be more susceptible to developing sinusitis.

  • When you have hay fever or similar allergic illness, your sinuses are affected
  • A common cold that causes sinus problems
  • An abnormality in the nasal passages, such as nasal polyps, tumours, or a deviated nasal septum
  • A sickness like cystic fibrosis or a disease of the immune system like HIV/AIDS
  • Exposure to smoke, either directly via smoking or indirectly from secondhand smoke


Signs and symptoms of acute sinusitis frequently include:

  • A runny nose or thick, yellow or greenish mucus coming from the nose or throat (postnasal drainage)
  • Breathing via your nose is made harder by a congested or blocked nose.
  • As you lean over, the pain, soreness, swelling, and pressure around your eyes, cheekbones, nose, or forehead get worse.

Additional indications and symptoms are:

  • Ear discomfort
  • Headache
  • Your teeth are hurting.
  • Alterations to smell
  • Cough and foul odor
  • Fatigue
  • Fever


Follow these recommendations to help lower your chance of developing acute sinusitis:

  • Keep your upper respiratory illnesses at bay. Try to avoid interacting with those who are contagious or infected with other illnesses. Wash your hands often, especially before eating, with soap and water.
  • Take care of your allergies. To keep your symptoms under control, work with your doctor.
  • Avoid breathing in dirty air or smoking. Your lungs and nasal passages can become irritated and inflamed by tobacco smoke and other contaminants.
  • Apply a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air in your house may help avoid sinusitis if the air is dry, as it is if you have forced-air heating. Ensure the humidifier is kept clean and mold-free by giving it a thorough cleaning on a regular basis.


Acute sinusitis cases often resolve on their own. Usually, using self-care methods is enough to reduce symptoms.

Treatments for symptom relief

Your doctor could suggest the following therapies to alleviate sinusitis symptoms:

  • You may clean your nasal passages by repeatedly spraying saline nasal spray into your nose each day.
  • Corticosteroid nasal spray. Inflammation is treated and prevented by using these nasal sprays. Fluticasone, budesonide, mometasone, and beclomethasone are other examples. Fluticasone is used in the allergy medications Flonase Allergy Relief, Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief, and others (Beconase AQ, Qnasl, others).
  • Decongestants. These drugs come in both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription liquids, pills, and nasal spray forms. Employ nasal decongestants for a brief period of time. Alternatively, they can bring to more severe congestion once again (rebound congestion).
  • Anti-allergy drugs. If you have sinusitis, children and teens with chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should never use aspirin, even if it is safe to use in those over the age of 3. This is due to the fact that aspirin has been connected to Reye's syndrome, an uncommon but potentially fatal illness, in these children.


Although acute sinusitis is typically brought on by a virus rather than a bacterial infection, antibiotics are typically not required to treat it. Even if you have bacterial acute sinusitis, it could go away on its own. Before recommending antibiotics, your doctor may decide to wait and see whether your acute sinusitis becomes any worse.

Nonetheless, antibiotics can be necessary for severe, advancing, or chronic symptoms. Take the whole course of antibiotics your doctor recommends, even if your symptoms start to improve. When you no longer use them in time, your symptoms can return.


Immunotherapy (allergy injections) that lessen the body's response to particular allergens may help alleviate your symptoms if allergies are a factor in your sinusitis.

The following self-care techniques can help reduce sinusitis symptoms:

  • Rest. This will hasten recuperation and aid your body's defense against infection.
  • Consume liquids. Continue to consume a lot of water.
  • Apply a hot compress. The pressure in your sinuses could be reduced by applying a warm compress to your forehead and nose.
  • Wet the sinus cavities. Put a towel over your head and inhale the steam rising from the hot water in the bowl. Keep your face in the line of the vapor. Instead, take a hot shower and breathe in the steamy, heated air. Mucus will drain and discomfort will be reduced as a result.
  • Rinse the inside of your nose. Utilize a neti pot or a squeeze bottle made for the purpose (Sinus Rinse, etc.). Nasal lavage is a natural therapy that might assist to clean your sinuses.

Complications of Sinusitis

Serious consequences from acute sinusitis are infrequent, as are acute sinusitis complications. If they do, difficulties might consist of:

Persistent sinusitis. A persistent condition known as chronic sinusitis may flare up sometimes and cause acute sinusitis. Persistent sinusitis persists for more than a month.

Meningitis. Your brain and spinal cord's membranes and surrounding fluid become inflamed as a result of this illness.

Various infections. Rarely, an infection may extend to the skin or bones (osteomyelitis) (cellulitis).

Vision issues. You may get permanent blindness or impaired vision if the infection spreads to your eye socket.

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Page last reviewed: Apr 25, 2023

Next review due: Apr 25, 2025

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