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Symptoms of sinus infection are very similar to those of the common cold. However, when due to a cold virus, such symptoms typically improve after a few days. If you continue to have nasal symptoms 10-14 days after having a cold, then you may have developed a sinus infection.

Blockage of Sinuses
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Symptoms of sinus infection may include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal discharge that may be
    • Thick
    • Greenish
    • Yellowish
  • 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
  • Fever
  • 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.

Revision Information

  • Bhattacharyya N. Clinical and symptom criteria for the accurate diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope. 2006;116:1-22.

  • Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.

  • Sinus infection (sinusitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/Pages/Index.aspx Accessed September 12, 2008.