Filter Glossary

Acute sinusitis

  • Overview


    It’s called acute sinusitis, when the spaces inside your nose (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen. This can cause mucus to build up and interfere with drainage, making it hard to breathe through your nose. You may also experience swelling around your eyes and face, throbbing facial pain, or a headache.

    The common cold usually causes acute sinusitis and resolves within a week to 10 days without medical treatment. Home remedies can be effective in treating acute sinusitis. However, it may be considered chronic sinusitis if symptoms persist for over 12 weeks despite medical treatment.

  • Symptoms


    If you’re experiencing acute sinusitis, you may notice the following signs and symptoms:
    Thick mucus that’s yellow or greenish, which could be running from your nose or down the back of your throat
    A blocked or stuffy nose, making it difficult to breathe through your nose
    Pain, tenderness, swelling, and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead, which may worsen when bending over

    Other potential signs and symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
    Ear pressure
    Aching in your teeth
    Altered sense of smell
    Bad breath

  • When to see a doctor


    If you have acute sinusitis, visiting a doctor is generally unnecessary. However, you should reach out to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

    Symptoms that persist for over a week or seem to be getting worse after improving
    A continuous fever
    A history of recurrent or chronic sinusitis

    You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms that may indicate a severe infection, such as:

    Pain, swelling, or redness around your eyes
    High fever
    Double vision or other changes in vision
    Stiff neck

    Book Appointment
  • Causes


    The common cold, an infection with a virus, most often causes acute sinusitis. In some cases, a disease with bacteria develops.

  • Risk factors


    If you have hay fever or another allergy that affects your sinuses, a common cold that affects your sinuses, a nasal passage abnormality like a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps or tumours, a medical condition like cystic fibrosis or an immune system disorder such as HIV/AIDS, or have been exposed to smoke, either through smoking or secondhand smoke exposure, your risk of getting sinusitis may increase.

  • Prevention


    Here are some steps you can take to lower your chances of getting acute sinusitis:

    Steer clear of people who have upper respiratory infections or other illnesses.
    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating.
    Work with your doctor to manage your allergies and keep symptoms in check.
    Avoid breathing in cigarette smoke and polluted air, irritating your lungs and nasal passages.
    Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home if it’s dry due to forced-air heat. Just keep the humidifier clean and free of mould with regular cleaning.

  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 07/08/2023