Symptoms of sinus infection are very similar to those of the common cold. However, when due to a cold virus, such symptoms typically improve in 1 to 2 weeks. If you continue to have nasal symptoms that linger after having a cold, then you may have developed a sinus infection.
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Symptoms of sinus infection may include:
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal discharge that may be thick, and greenish or yellowish in color
- Headache (in acute sinusitis)
- Ear pain
- Toothache (dental pain)
- Facial pain and pressure that increases when you lie down or lean over
- Facial fullness or congestion
- Nagging cough that may get worse when lying down
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Decreased sense of smell
- Fever, especially in children
Most experts believe that sinus infection does not cause chronic headaches. However, alteration in sinus pressure associated with weather changes might provoke headaches in susceptible people.
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Bhattacharyya N. Clinical and symptom criteria for the accurate diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2006;116(7 pt 2 Suppl 110):1-22.
Chronic rhinosinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-rhinosinusitis. Updated August 7, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Sinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/sinusitis. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP Last Updated: 12/2/2020