Disease Specific

Acute Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages (sinuses) to become inflamed and swollen.  This in turn interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.   With this, it may be difficult to breathe through your nose.  The area around your eyes and face may feel swollen.  You may also experience throbbing facial pain or headache.

The most common cause of sinusitis is caused by the common cold.  Most symptoms resolve within a week to 10 days, unless a bacterial infection develops.  Acute sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks, despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis.

Risk factors increasing chance of sinusitis:

  • Hay fever or allergic condition that affects your sinuses
  • Nasal passage abnormality
  • Medical condition that affects your immune system or lungs


  • Nasal and or post nasal drainage that is thick, yellow or green
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion causing breathing difficulty through nose
  • Tenderness, pain or pressure around eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when you bend over
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Ear pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste

Helping to reduce the risk of acute sinusitis:

  • Avoid persons who have upper respiratory infections
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Manage your allergies
  • Avoid cigarette smoke or polluted air

When to call your doctor:

  • If your symptoms don’t improve within a few days or if your symptoms worsen
  • Persistent fever
  • History of recurrent or chronic sinusitis

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