Sinus Infection (Sinusitis): Symptoms, Causes, Duration, & Treatment

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis): Symptoms, Causes, Duration, & Treatment

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Nasal congestion and drainage
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Postnasal drip
  • Fatigue

Causes

Sinus infections are caused by inflammation of the sinuses, which are air-filled cavities in the skull. Sinus infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi.

Duration

Most sinus infections go away on their own within 10 days. However, some sinus infections may last longer or become chronic.

Treatment

Over-the-counter medications, such as decongestants and pain relievers, can help to relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection. If your sinus infection is severe or does not respond to over-the-counter medications, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Home remedies

In addition to over-the-counter medications, there are a number of home remedies that can help to relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection. These remedies include:

  • Using a saline nasal spray or irrigation to clear the sinuses
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air
  • Applying a warm compress to the face to reduce pain and pressure
  • Getting plenty of rest

Prevention

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent sinus infections, such as:

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Getting vaccinated against the flu
  • Managing allergies
  • Avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke

If you have any concerns about a sinus infection, please talk to your doctor.