Acute Sinusitis Symptoms

Nasal congestion, facial pain, and thick, yellow-to-green mucus are some of the most common signs and symptoms of acute sinusitis. If you develop a high fever or a severe headache, or if your symptoms do not improve within seven days, contact your healthcare provider. You should also notify your healthcare provider if your symptoms were getting better, but have suddenly gotten worse.

What Are the Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis?

There are a number of common signs and symptoms of an acute sinus infection. The most common indications include:
  • Nasal congestion or blockage
  • Drainage of thick, yellow-to-green mucus (which can drain out the nose or down the back of the throat)
  • Tooth pain or discomfort
  • Facial pain or discomfort that is worse when bending over.
The pain or discomfort with acute sinusitis will depend, in part, on which sinuses are affected. Common locations for pain include the forehead, teeth, upper jaw, cheeks, behind the eyes, or the side of the nose. Most people, however, have pain or tenderness in several locations.
Other possible acute sinusitis symptoms and signs include:
  • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF or 38ºC)
  • Cough (which may be worse at night)
  • Ear pressure or fullness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Decreased (or loss of) sense of smell or taste
  • Bad breath (halitosis).

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Most sinus infections get better on their own. Therefore, healthcare providers often recommend treating possible sinus infections at home.
However, you should contact your healthcare provider if:
  • Your symptoms have not improved in seven days, or
  • The following symptoms have been present for more than seven days:
    • Face or tooth pain, especially if it is only on one side
    • Thick, yellow-to-green discharge from the nose
    • Cheek tenderness or pain (this is where your maxillary sinuses are).
You should also contact your healthcare provider if symptoms were getting better but suddenly get worse.
Reasons to contact your healthcare provider right away include:
  • High fever (over 102.5°F or 39.2°C)
  • Double vision
  • Decreases in vision
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Swelling around the eyelid
  • Redness around the eyelid
  • Severe headache
  • Severe facial pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in mental state.
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Sinus Infections (Acute and Chronic)

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