Acute sinusitis (acute rhinosinusitis) causes the cavities around your nasal passages (sinuses) to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and
causes mucus to build up. With acute sinusitis, it may be difficult to breathe
through your nose. The area around your eyes and face may feel swollen, and you may have throbbing facial pain or a headache.
Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold. Other triggers include allergies, bacterial and fungal infections
Acute sinusitis symptoms often include:
1. Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat.
2. Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
3. Pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
4. Reduced sense of smell and taste
5. Cough, which may be worse at night
Other signs and symptoms can include:
Aching in your upper jaw and teeth
Bad breath (halitosis)
Acute sinusitis can be caused by:
1. Viral infection. Most cases of acute sinusitis are caused by the common cold.
2. Bacterial infection. When an upper respiratory tract infection persists longer than seven to 10 days, it’s more likely to be caused by a bacterial infection than by a viral infection.
3. Fungal infection. You’re at increased risk of a fungal infection if you have sinus abnormalities or a weakened immune system.
Some health conditions can increase your risk of getting a sinus infection that causes sinusitis, or can increase your risk of getting sinusitis that isn’t caused by an underlying infection. These conditions include:
4. Allergies such as hay fever. Inflammation that occurs with allergies may block your sinuses.
5. Nasal polyps or tumors. These tissue growths may block the nasal passages or sinuses.
6. Deviated nasal septum. A crooked septum — the wall between the nostrils — may restrict or block sinus passages.
7. Tooth infection. A small number of cases of acute sinusitis are caused by an infected tooth.
Treatments and drugs
Most cases of acute sinusitis don’t need treatment because they’re caused by viruses that also cause the common cold. Self-care techniques are usually the only
treatment needed to speed recovery and ease symptoms.
Treatments to relieve symptoms
Your doctor may recommend treatments to help relieve sinusitis symptoms, including:
1. Saline nasal spray, which you spray into your nose several times a day to rinse your nasal passages.
2. Nasal corticosteroids. These nasal sprays help prevent and treat inflammation. Examples include fluticasone (Flonase), mometasone (Nasonex), budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua), triamcinolone (Nasacort
AQ) and beclomethasone (Beconase AQ).
Decongestants. These medications are available in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription liquids, tablets and nasal sprays. OTC oral decongestants include Sudafed, Actifed and Drixoral.
Nasal sprays include oxymetazoline (Afrin, others). These medications are generally taken for only a few days at most. Otherwise they can cause the return of more severe congestion (rebound congestion).