An introduction to sinusitis

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Sinusitis is a prevalent issue that affects a number of adults all over the world. Aside from facial pain and headache, those who suffer from sinusitis can also experience ear pain, dental pain, fatigue, fever, cough or bad breath.

What are the causes?

There are several possible cause of sinusitis which includes the following:

  • Environmental irritants
  • Allergens
  • Infections due to bacteria, viruses or fungi

The most common cause for sinusitis is viral in nature while bacterial cases accounts for a few cases.

Indications of bacterial sinusitis

  • If the symptoms such as facial pain, headache, fever and/or nasal discharge lasts more than 10 days and not improving.
    Aside from facial pain and headache, those who suffer from sinusitis can also experience ear pain, dental pain, fatigue, fever, cough or bad breath.
  • Severe symptoms or high fever along with purulent discharge from the nose and facial pain that lasts longer than 3-4 days since the start of the condition.
  • The symptoms of common cold have been present for 5-6 days such as sinus congestion that began to improve and then deteriorated. For example, if the individual develops a new fever or headache when he/she already started to feel better.


When diagnosing the condition, the doctor will ask questions and perform a physical exam. In most cases, the doctor does not usually perform a test for a sinus infection by taking a sample from the sinuses. The specialist might perform a CT scan of the sinuses if the individual has recurrent or chronic sinusitis or has a complicated infection.


Since most cases of sinusitis are viral, antibiotics are prescribed. If there is a chance for a bacterial cause for the pain, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics for 5-7 days.

In case the doctor rules out a bacterial infection, it is good to note that there are simple measures that can alleviate the symptoms until the body naturally fights off the virus. In such cases, the doctor might recommend a nasal saline irrigation, steroid nasal spray and home remedies such as adequate rest, steam and increased intake of fluids.

Rarely, sinusitis can progress into something dangerous such as osteomyelitis or meningitis. If the individual is worried about the symptoms or not improving with the initial measures recommended by the doctor, a doctor should be consulted.

It is important to note that sinusitis is a common health issue that causes facial pain or headache. In most cases, they are triggered by viruses and eventually improves over time.

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