How Do I Know If I Have a Sinus Infection?

It’s safe to say that many of us have had a sinus infection before. In fact, it’s estimated that there are currently 31 million people in the United States with sinusitis.

If you don’t think you’ve had a sinus infection, though, how are you supposed to know if you have it or have had it? Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team highlights the tell-tale signs and symptoms of sinusitis below, so read on.

What Is a Sinus Infection?

There are four paired cavities (spaces) in the head, which are known as the body’s sinuses. These cavities trap harmful particles from the air and filter them out through the nose.

However, when fluid builds and stops up these sinuses, it allows germs to grow and causes a sinus infection (medically known as sinusitis). Viruses cause most sinus infections, but bacteria can cause some sinus infections as well. We’ve listed the most common types of symptoms you will experience with a sinus infection below.

Common Sinus Infection Symptoms

  • Thick, yellow or greenish mucus from the nose (runny nose) or down the back of the throat (postnasal drainage)
  • Blocked or stuffy nose that causes difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when bending over

Is a Headache a Common Sinus Infection Symptom?

Yes and no. While headaches caused by sinus infections are entirely possible, they’re usually confused with migraines. If you have a real sinus headache that is caused by a sinus infection, you’ll also typically have a fever and thick, discolored nasal mucus.

The reason that sinus headaches happen, though, is when the sinuses become filled with fluid, it can cause pressure and pain in the face. Typically, pain gets worse when you move your head suddenly. Depending on the sinus affected, you may feel a constant dull ache behind the eyes or in your cheekbones, forehead and/or bridge of the nose.

More Sinus Headache Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Stuffy nose
  • Thick, colored mucus discharge from the nose
  • Feeling of fullness in the ears
  • Swollen or puffy face

Think you may have a sinus infection and aren’t sure how to treat it? Don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC center today to get the care you need!