What Are the Symptoms of a Sinus Infection?

By: Dr. Robert D. Pearson


The discomfort of a sinus infection is a familiar struggle for many. Understanding the signs and symptoms that may mean you have an active sinus infection is important for receiving timely intervention and getting the rapid and lasting relief you deserve. At Canyon View Ear, Nose & Throat in Cedar City, UT, otolaryngologist Dr. Robert D. Pearson and our caring team are dedicated to helping you find sinus infection relief whether you are suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis or, potentially, another nasal or sinus condition.

What is a sinus infection?

A sinus infection, also referred to as sinusitis, occurs when the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed. This inflammation can result from infections, allergies, or other nasal irritants. When the sinuses become blocked, bacteria can grow, leading to infection and a range of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms.

How do I know if I have a sinus infection?

Being evaluated and diagnosed by a medical professional is the only way to determine with certainty whether your symptoms are being caused by a sinus infection, but there are certain signs and symptoms that are often associated with sinusitis. These may include:

  • Facial pain (eyes, cheeks, forehead)
  • Inflammation
  • Nasal congestion or drainage
  • Headache
  • Bad breath
  • Toothache
  • Loss of taste or smell

What else could feel like a sinus infection?

While sinus infections often present with distinctive symptoms, it's important to consider other conditions that may mimic sinusitis. Allergies, for instance, can cause nasal congestion, facial pressure, and headaches, creating a resemblance to sinus infection symptoms. Environmental irritants, such as smoke or pollutants, might also lead to similar discomfort. Even dental issues, like a dental infection, can radiate to the facial and sinus areas and mirror the symptoms of a sinus infection.

If you're uncertain about the cause of your sinus infection symptoms or if they persist, consulting with Dr. Pearson can help determine the underlying issue and guide you toward the most effective course of action for relief.

When should I see my doctor for sinus infection symptoms?

Anytime you are experiencing sinus infection symptoms that are uncomfortable or are disrupting your everyday life, it is advisable to seek evaluation and treatment — which can also help to prevent worsening symptoms and other complications. If you are experiencing more serious symptoms, like the ones below, a more urgent evaluation may be recommended:

  • Severe pain
  • Prolonged symptoms lasting several weeks without improvement
  • Fever
  • Recurrent infections

Early intervention can prevent the progression of sinusitis and contribute to a quicker recovery.

Will a sinus infection go away on its own?

The answer to this common sinus infection FAQ depends on the type of sinusitis and other factors. Acute sinusitis may resolve on its own or with minimal intervention, such as rest, over-the-counter products, and hydration. However, chronic sinusitis often requires comprehensive management. If symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks, it's essential to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

How are chronic sinus infections treated?

The treatment approach for chronic sinus infections is multifaceted and will be customized based on the cause, nature, and severity of the sinusitis. A comprehensive evaluation, including a potential CT scan, allows for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Following a thorough evaluation and consultation, Dr. Pearson may recommend one or more of the following sinusitis treatment options:

  • Nasal corticosteroid spray
  • Antifungal medication
  • Oral medications
  • Injected medications
  • Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)
  • Balloon sinuplasty

Get rapid relief from sinus infection symptoms with sinusitis treatment in Cedar City, UT

If you're experiencing symptoms of a sinus infection in Cedar City, UT, don't wait to get the relief you deserve. Schedule a consultation with Cedar City otolaryngologist Dr. Robert D. Pearson today. Dr. Pearson and our caring team at Canyon View Ear, Nose & Throat will assess your condition, provide a thorough diagnosis, and offer personalized treatment options to help you get back to your normal routines with comfort and confidence.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.