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Sinus infections

Sinusitis (sinus infection) is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining your sinuses. Sinuses are structures inside your face that are normally filled with air, like your forehead, cheeks, and nose. Bacterial infections, viral infections, and allergies can irritate them, causing them to get blocked and filled with fluid. This can cause pressure and pain in your face, nasal congestion (a stuffy nose), and other symptoms.


Viruses, bacteria, fungi and allergens can cause sinusitis. Specific triggers for sinusitis include:

  • The common cold.
  • The flu (influenza).
  • Seasonal allergies.
  • Bacteria (Streptococcus, Haemophilus, and Moraxella).


  • Postnasal drip (mucus dripping down your throat).
  • Runny nose with thick yellow or green mucus.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Facial pressure (particularly around your nose, eyes, and forehead). This might get worse when you move your head around or bend over.
  • Pressure or pain in your teeth.
  • Ear pressure or pain.
  • Fever.
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Cough.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness


There are many treatment options for sinusitis, depending on your symptoms and how long you’ve had them. You can treat a sinus infection at home with:

  • Decongestants.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) cold and allergy medications.
  • Nasal saline rinses.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.

If symptoms of sinusitis don’t improve after 10 days, a clinician may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Oral or topical decongestants.
  • Prescription intranasal steroid sprays. (Don’t use nonprescription sprays or drops for longer than three to five days — they may actually increase congestion.)

Should I go to Indigo?

If you’ve had a sinus infection for 10 days that isn’t getting better, Indigo can diagnose your symptoms and recommend treatment. 

If you are having any of the following symptoms, visit your nearest emergency department:

  • Fever over 103 degrees.
  • Confusion or other mental changes.
  • Vision changes, especially if you have pain or swelling around your eyes.
  • Seizures.
  • Stiff neck.

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