What Is A Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection, or sinusitis, occurs when the sinus cavities become inflamed. The inflamed sinuses create blockages that prevent bacteria and viruses from being able to drain out. The build-up of bacteria and viruses is what causes the infection. Sinus infections affect millions of people each year, and they can either be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). If a sinus infection lasts longer than 12 weeks, it is considered chronic.
What Causes A Sinus Infection?
Many things can cause a sinus infection. Some include:
- Allergies – allergies can inflame and swell the sinuses, resulting in a blockage and infection.
- Nasal polyps – typically benign growths in the nasal cavities, nasal polyps create blockages throughout the sinuses.
- Deviated septum – when the septum is abnormally shaped, it can make it difficult for proper drainage of the sinuses to occur, resulting in the build-up of bacteria and viruses.
- Underlying conditions – diseases like cystic fibrosis can cause sinus cavity blockages.
- Respiratory infections – illnesses like the common cold cause swelling of the sinuses and can cause blockages resulting in sinus infections.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection?
Sinus infection symptoms include:
- Stuffy nose
- Ear pain
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or obstruction
- Pain around the eyes
Do you think you might have a sinus infection but aren’t sure? Take our sinus quiz to see if you are having chronic sinus issues.