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The Pain of Sinus Infections

Sinusitis is the medical term for a sinus infection. It means your sinuses are inflamed due to a viral or bacterial infection or another problem.

Your sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose. They produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen, this can block the sinuses, trap the mucus, and cause pain and irritation.

There are several types of sinusitis, including

  • Acute, which lasts up to 4 weeks
  • Subacute, which lasts 4 to 12 weeks
  • Chronic, which lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or even years
  • Recurrent, with several attacks within a year

Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, which then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies, nasal problems, and certain diseases can also cause acute and chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms of sinusitis can include facial pain, headache, fever, weakness, fatigue, cough, and congestion. There may also be mucus drainage (postnasal drip) in the back of the throat.

Treatment can include antibiotics, decongestants and pain relievers. Using heat pads on the inflamed area, saline nasal sprays, and vaporizers can also help.


If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms now, see a Mercyhealth health care provider at Virtual Visit Now.

Mercyhealth Virtual Visit Now gives you remote access to the best of health care from your phone, tablet or computer. Our Virtual Visit Now team can help you feel better from the comfort of your own home. After assessing your symptoms, they’ll recommend treatments that can include simple comfort measures, prescription medicine or an office visit.

Virtual Visit Now is not available for emergency care. If you need emergency care, please call 911.

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