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Acute Sinusitis Symptoms & Causes


What is acute sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis—also known as a sinus infection—is a condition that causes the nasal cavities to inflame and swell. This creates draining issues in the sinuses, which leads to buildup and possibly complete nasal obstruction. This condition is most often caused by the common cold, and generally is resolved within around 10 days or less. When the condition worsens or lasts longer, it may indicate chronic sinusitis.

What causes acute sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold, but sometimes is triggered by other conditions, such as:

What are acute sinusitis symptoms?

Symptoms of acute sinusitis often include:

  • Nasal obstruction or stuffy nose
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Discharge that is thick, yellow or green
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or tenderness around eyes, cheeks, nose, or head
  • Pressure when bending over
  • Ear pain or pressure
  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Difficulty smelling
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Aching jaw
  • Headache

What are the risk factors for acute sinusitis?

You may have a higher risk of getting acute sinusitis if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Allergies / hay fever
  • Common cold
  • Immune system disorder
  • Nasal abnormality

How is acute sinusitis diagnosed?

Acute sinusitis can be diagnosed my medical professionals with New York ENT by discussing your symptoms and medical history. Your ENT doctor will likely look inside your nose using an otoscope, or a small tool with a light and microscope, to determine sinusitis as the cause of your symptoms. Further methods that may be used to diagnose acute sinusitis include:

  • Endoscopy (tool used to for better visual analysis of nasal passage)
  • Allergy testing
  • Lab testing of sinus cultures

How is acute sinusitis treated?

Common treatment options that may be recommended by New York ENT specialists include:

  • Decongestants helps to dry out the nasal cavity.
  • Saline spray rinses out the nasal cavity.
  • Corticosteroid spray helps prevent and treat nasal inflammation.
  • Pain relievers relieves tension and pressure pain associated with acute sinusitis.

If you are suffering from acute sinusitis, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of nasal conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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