Sinus Attack: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment


The sinus is a system of hollow cavities connected with the skull. We have a total of four pairs of the sinus cavities.  The primary job of the sinus is to produce mucus. Mucus moisturizes the inside area of the nose and doesn’t let dust and microorganism enter inside. According to experts, sinus is also helpful to enhance our voice.


When we talk about the sinus attack, we actually don’t talk about these hollow cavities. Yes, sinus is not the issue behind the sinus attack.

So what is it? Let’s have a look.

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The Sinus Infection



A healthy sinus is filled with air. But when it is filled with mucus due to some reasons it becomes unhealthy. Because of mucus, sinus gets blocked and germs start growing in the mucus that causes an infection.  In a sinus infection, nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed.

The sinus infection is also called sinusitis. Sinus infection is very common. It’s a painful condition. The sinus infection can happen due to some allergy, cold or many more reasons. When the tissues of your nose get swollen because of any of the issues, it blocks the sinus passage. As result, the sinus couldn’t drain. And you feel pain.

Types of Sinus Infection

Sinus infection (Sinusitis) is of two types.

  1. Acute Sinusitis
  2. Chronic Sinusitis

Acute Sinusitis

Acute Sinusitis is a very common problem.  It is also known as Rhinosinusitis. Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the membranes that line your nose and surrounding sinuses. It reduces your capacity of mucus draining from your nose and sinuses. Acute sinuses happen for a short time like maximum for a week.

Viral infection or cold due to viral infection is the most common reason of acute sinusitis. In some rare cases, a tooth can also be a reason behind the acute sinusitis. In those rare cases, bacteria can spread from the infected tooth to the sinuses.


Cause of Acute Sinusitis

Below mentioned conditions can be responsible for the Sinus infection.

  • Cold
  • Hot or dry air
  • Airborne environmental pollutants
  • Bacteria and virus
  • Stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Fungal overgrowth or Candida overgrowth
  • Usually, sinus (Sinusitis) is caused by bacteria. In some rare cases, the fungus can also be a reason of Sinusitis.

The Risk Factor for Acute Sinusitis

Following factors are responsible to increase the risk factor of acute sinusitis.

  • A weak immune system
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Nasal passage abnormalities
  • Large or inflamed adenoids
  • Activities like scuba diving or flying, where air pressure changes.

Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis

Here are the symptoms of acute sinusitis.

  • A sore throat
  • Cough issues that usually increases in night
  • Thick mucus discharge from the nose having yellow or green color
  • A headache
  • A toothache
  • Earache
  • A decreased sense of smell and taste
  • Pain or pressure at the forehead, behind the eyes, nose or at cheekbones

Diagnosis of Acute Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis can be diagnosed by physical examination by a doctor. This physical examination can be done by pressing over sinus. By looking into the patient’s nose with a light, acute sinusitis can be diagnosed.


Doctors also use the following tests to diagnose the acute sinusitis.

  • Nasal Endoscopy
  • Imaging tests

Treatment of Acute Sinusitis at Home

Acute sinusitis can be treated at home. Here are the few methods.

  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
  • Use a moist and warm washcloth and hold it over your sinus. It will reduce the pain.
  • Try to be in the moist air.

Prevention from Acute Sinusitis

You can prevent yourself from acute sinusitis. Here is the list of little preventions.

  • A yearly flu vaccination
  • Washing your hands more often
  • Keep a distance from a person who has a sinus infection
  • Avoid polluted air and cigarette or any type of smoke
  • By not to ignore any allergy

Chronic Sinusitis

Like acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis is also a very common problem.  It is also known as rhinosinusitis. Breathing from nose gets difficult in this condition. Draining of mucus gets interpreted in chronic sinusitis. This causes the built up of mucus. Because of this condition, you can feel swelling on your face and areas near your eyes.

The condition of chronic sinusitis occurs because of infection and many other reasons. Unlike acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis stays for a long time sometimes for a month.


Causes of Chronic Sinusitis

Here are the common causes of chronic sinusitis.

  • The growth of Nasal polyps
  • HIV, gastroesophageal reflux or other medical condition
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Asthma

The Risk Factor for Chronic Sinusitis

Following factors are responsible to increase the risk factor of chronic sinusitis.

Certain medical conditions like cold, tumor, cleft palate and few more

  • Allergies
  • Head injury
  • Smoking

Apart from mentioned risk factors, the gender is also one of the risk factors as women are more affected by chronic sinusitis in comparison of men. Risk factors for acute and chronic sinusitis are mostly the same.

Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis both share the same symptoms. But acute sinusitis is temporary but chronic sinusitis stays for a longer period. The chronic sinusitis causes more fatigue. You should immediately see the doctor if you have one of the following symptoms.

  • Double vision
  • High fever
  • Confusion
  • Swelling around eyes
  • The reddish skin around eyes
  • Stiff neck

Diagnosis of Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis can be diagnosed by physical examination by a doctor. Doctors also use the following tests to diagnose the acute sinusitis.

  • Nasal Endoscopy
  • Imaging tests
  • Nasal and sinus cultures
  • An allergy test

Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis

Like acute sinusitis home remedy can be helpful in the case of chronic sinusitis. You can use the same remedies as we mentioned above for acute sinusitis to cure chronic sinusitis. But to see a doctor is a must in the condition of chronic sinusitis.

Here are the few treatment methods for chronic sinusitis.

  • Saline nasal irrigation to drainage the mucus.
  • Nasal corticosteroids to prevent and treat inflammation.
  • Oral or injected corticosteroids to treat severe symptoms.

Apart from these treatments doctors also use Antibiotics, Immunotherapy, and surgery as a treatment of the patient. This treatment depends on the condition of the patient.

Complications in Chronic Sinusitis

If left untreated, chronic sinusitis can cause serious complications. Here we have mentioned a few.

  • Loss of vision if eyes get infected
  • Infection can spread to bones or skin
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Permanent loss of ability to smell

So do not ignore any of the symptoms of the sinus infection. If the acute sinusitis stays for more than 4 weeks then visit your doctor.


Though this article is not written by any professional medical practitioner, we have put proper research in writing this article. Still, it is suggested that you do your research before reaching to any conclusion and visit your doctor in case of any discomfort.


Nancy Maheshwari is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media enthusiast. In addition to developing blog content, she maintains her own blog that covers a wide range of topics. She has an obsession with trying on different food, learning DIYs and photography and of course watching animated movies too.

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