What Are the Signs of a Sinus Infection?

What Are the Signs of a Sinus Infection? 

Feel like you have a cold that never ends? It could be a sinus infection. Medically referred to as sinusitis, sinus infections involve inflammation of sinus tissue. About 35 million Americans are diagnosed with a sinus infection each year so it’s safe to say it’s a pretty common condition. There are 4 known types:

Acute Sinusitis

Starts out with cold-like symptoms and lasts 2-4 weeks.

Subacute Sinusitis

Continued cold-like symptoms for 4-12 weeks.

Chronic Sinusitis

Involves persistent cold-like symptoms with the addition of nasal obstructions, nasal pus, or discolored drainage. Lasts more than 12 weeks.

Recurrent Sinusitis

A reoccurring sinus infection that happens several times a year.

Signs that May Indicate a Sinus Infection 

Sinusitis symptoms are similar to that of colds and allergies which is why they often get dismissed at first. Signs of sinus infections include:

  • Runny nose
  • Bad breath
  • Postnasal drip
  • Facial pain
  • Pressure in sinus region
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Loss of smell
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

In rare cases, an untreated sinus infection can lead to more serious symptoms and conditions such as:

  • Meningitis
  • A brain abscess
  • A bone infection
  • Orbital cellulitis

Causes of a Sinus Infection 

When fluid builds up in your sinus cavities, germs now have a breeding ground to grow. This is essentially what causes a sinus infection. But there are certain risk factors that allow this to occur. The following conditions can lead to sinus blockages:

  • Viral infections (such as colds)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Allergies
  • Structural problems (Such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum)
  • Smoking 
  • Immune deficiencies that prevent your body from fighting infection

Sinus Infection Treatment Options 

Before self-treating your sinusitis, visit your primary care physician or sinus doctor to get a diagnosis. They will determine the cause of your sinus infection and help you find relief. Treatment could involve:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications for headaches, sore throats, and facial pain
  • Decongestants and expectorants to loosen mucus and facilitate breathing
  • Nasal sprays and nasal irrigation kits to clear nasal passages
  • Antibiotics to fight bacterial infections
  • Antifungals for rare fungal infections
  • Steroids for more stubborn cases

However, the best medicine is prevention. You can practice these things to avoid getting sinusitis altogether:

  • Clean your hands and stay away from sick people to avoid infections
  • Keep up with vaccines such as the flu and pneumococcal vaccines
  • Make healthy choices and don’t smoke
  • Use a clean humidifier and air purifier to improve air quality
  • Take allergy medication during allergy seasons

Get the Relief You Need By Scheduling an Appointment With Breathe Clear

When the sniffles just don’t stop, it’s time to visit the medical professionals at Breathe Clear Institute. Equipped with an arsenal of knowledge, treatment plans, and medical devices, Breathe Clear is prepared to tackle your sinusitis. And we understand that medicine isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice, which is why we take a customized, holistic approach. From non-invasive to surgical, our ENT services are tailored to meet your specific needs. Sinus infections can lead to more serious medical complications if left untreated so make your appointment today!

Schedule an Appointment

Why Is My Nose Still Runny?

What is Causing My Nose to Be Runny?

If you have been suffering from nasal drainage, also known as a runny nose or rhinitis, there may be several reasons why. Learn about the potential causes of your runny nose with Breathe Clear Institute. 


One of the symptoms of allergies is a runny nose. Allergies are reactions to a foreign substance. Some common triggers include food, drugs, and the environment. Many people do not realize what they are allergic to but, fortunately, allergy testing lets you know what is triggering your reaction and how you can best be treated. At Breathe Clear, we are able to test for 40 different allergens at the same time. Once the results are in, we recommend the most ideal treatment option to relieve you of your symptoms. 


A cold is one of the most common viral infections. It affects the upper respiratory tract and causes various symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, throat irritation, and a cough. There is no cure for a cold, however there are ways to treat the symptoms including with over-the-counter medications, drinking fluids, and getting plenty of rest. 

Chronic Sinusitis

Your runny nose may be due to chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is a condition that occurs when an individual’s sinuses are inflamed and infected for a three month period of longer. Other than a runny nose, symptoms consist of congestion, post nasal drip, loss or reduction in sense of smell, and facial pain and pressure in the sinus region. We are currently offering a clinical trial for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis. To see if you qualify and to learn more, visit our website

Environmental and Chemical Irritants

Another reason for your runny nose may be environmental and chemical irritants.  These irritants include particulate matter in air pollutants as well as industrial or chemical products.  Even tires are a source of potentially irritating particles that can get into the atmosphere.   Some people also react to perfumes and cleaning products.    

Schedule an Appointment With Breathe Clear to Relieve Your Runny Nose

When you are experiencing a runny nose beyond the typical, it is important to visit a trusted ENT doctor to get to the root of the issue. At Breathe Clear Institute, we specialize in the management and treatment of conditions affecting the nose and sinuses.  One of the treatments we offer is Clarifix, a simple treatment performed in our office that helps get your runny nose back to normal.  When you’re a patient at Breathe Clear, our team of experts provides you with quality care, taking your unique needs into consideration when determining the best form of treatment. Get the relief you deserve by contacting Breathe Clear today. To make an appointment you can either give us a call and our patient coordinator will assist you, or you can fill out our online contact form.

Schedule an Appointment

How to Determine if You Have a Sinus Infection or a Cold

Sinus Infection vs. Cold

Sneezing, runny nose, cough? It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether you’re experiencing symptoms that are associated with a sinus infection or a cold. While the two share many similar symptoms, they differ, especially when it comes to how long the symptoms last for as well as the course of treatment involved. Learn how to discern a sinus infection from a cold and get back to being your normal, healthy self with help from the professionals at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Sinus Infection

A sinus infection occurs when the chambers in your face and forehead become infected, causing swelling and inflammation. The causes range from bacteria, immune problems, allergies, viruses, polyps, and other abnormalities. Sinus infections can be either acute or chronic. Acute infections last about four weeks and chronic infections can last anywhere up to twelve weeks. 


Sinus infection symptoms consist of nasal congestion, headaches, post nasal drip, facial pain, tooth pain, cough, problems with smell and taste, and nasal discharge. 


When treating a sinus infection, nasal sprays and saline rinses are commonly recommended. These can be picked up over-the-counter or with a prescription from your doctor. Some other over-the-counter medications may be suggested depending on the severity of the infection. For more serious cases, antibiotics can be prescribed. For people who experience chronic sinusitis, there are certain procedures they can undergo to get relief. A balloon sinuplasty helps treat recurring sinus infections by placing a small balloon into the sinuses. When the balloon is inflated, the sinuses are then widened. 


Chances are you have definitely experienced the common cold. There are over 200 viruses that can cause a cold. Colds are infections of the upper respiratory system and the symptoms are typically present within a few days of exposure. The rhinovirus most commonly causes a cold. Other viruses include coronavirus and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Colds are contagious, so it is important to be mindful of those who may have one. 


The symptoms of the common cold include sore throat, runny nose, congestion, cough, sneezing, and headaches.  


Unfortunately, because a cold is a virus, you have to let it run its course. However, there are over-the-counter medications that can help relieve the symptoms, including antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers like NSAIDS. If the cold does not go away after a little more than a week, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as there may be other health risks. 

Get Relief from Breathe Clear Institute

If you are unsure if you are suffering from a sinus infection or bad cold, make an appointment with the experienced ENT doctors at Breathe Clear Institute. Alleviating your symptoms and getting to the root of the problem is very important to us. Our doctors will work diligently to diagnose your problem and recommend a treatment plan that best suits you. Our office contains the Carestream CS 93000 Sinus Ct Scanner, which can help us determine if you are having sinus issues. Providing convenience and in-depth, quality care for our patients is our priority. We look forward to helping you get the relief that you deserve.

Learn More