Headache and runny nose are common when someone is suffering from a common cold. In case, they don’t subside in a week, it may be due to a sinus infection.
Sinuses, which are empty spaces or air cavities in the skull, and are located in between the nose, cheekbones, eyes, and forehead. There are four pairs of sinuses – maxillary and frontal sinuses.
What do sinuses do?
Sinuses protect the body by moving germs out. They produce a runny liquid called mucus which traps germs and moves them away.
How do sinus infections happen?
Too much mucus starts building in the cold or if you have some allergies. The mucus becomes thick and bacteria and germs grow in the cavities, because of which bacterial or viral infections happen. The infection leads to inflammation and swelling.
Symptoms that can point towards sinus infection
The common symptoms are:
- Loss of smell
- Congestion or cough
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Pain in the face or pressure
Some people may have associated symptoms:
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Smelly breath
- Tooth pain
Symptoms vary in those who have an acute or chronic sinus infection. The condition is termed acute when you have the symptoms – two or more – or nasal discharge that is thick and yellow or green in color for 12 weeks or more.
- Swelling in face and congestion
- Stuffed or blocked nasal cavity
- Pus in the nasal cavity or fever
It is advised to seek medical help if the symptoms do not go away in 10 days or even after managing it at home by oneself.