General Practice 2022

9 main symptoms of sinusitis (and most common types)

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9 main symptoms of sinusitis (and most common types)
9 main symptoms of sinusitis (and most common types)

Symptoms of sinusitis, which can also be called rhinosinusitis, occur when there is an inflammation of the mucosa of the sinuses, which are structures that are around the nasal cavities. In this disease, it is common to have pain in the face, nasal discharge and headache, although the symptoms may vary a little according to the cause of the disease and the general he alth and sensitivity of each person.

If you think you may have sinusitis, check the symptoms you have in the test below:

  1. 1.Pain in the face, especially around the eyes or nose Yes No
  2. 2.Constant headache Yes No
  3. 3.Heaviness in the face or head especially when bending down Yes No
  4. 4.Nasal congestion Yes No
  5. 5.Fever above 38º C Yes No
  6. 6.Bad breath Yes No
  7. 7.Yellow or greenish nasal discharge Yes No
  8. 8.Cough that gets worse at night Yes No
  9. 9.Loss of smell Yes No


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In the case of babies or small children, to know if there is sinusitis in children, one should be aware of the presence of nasal secretions accompanied by signs such as irritability, fever, drowsiness and difficulty in breastfeeding, even for foods that she usually eats. like.

Sines inflamed in sinusitis

How to differentiate each type of sinusitis

The inflammation that causes sinusitis has several causes, such as:

1. Viral sinusitis

It happens in the vast majority of cases, in about 80% of cases, due to a simple cold, and appears in people with symptoms of a runny nose, usually transparent or yellowish, but which can also turn green.

This type of sinusitis causes milder or bearable symptoms and, when there is a fever, it usually does not exceed 38ºC. In addition, viral sinusitis may be accompanied by other symptoms of a viral infection, such as sore throat, conjunctivitis, sneezing and nasal obstruction.

2. Allergic sinusitis

The symptoms of allergic sinusitis are similar to those of viral sinusitis, however, it occurs in people who have had a recent attack of allergic rhinitis, or who have been exposed to situations that usually cause sneezing and allergies in some people, such as cold intense, dry environment, stored clothes or old books, for example.

It is common for people who have an allergy attack to also have itchy nose and throat, frequent sneezing and red eyes.

3. Bacterial sinusitis

Sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection occurs in only 2% of cases of this disease, and is usually suspected when there is a fever above 38.5ºC, severe pain in the face and a purulent-looking secretion from the nose and throat, or when symptoms, even if mild, persist for more than 10 days.

4. Fungal sinusitis

Fungal sinusitis is usually present in people who have persistent sinusitis, which does not improve with treatment and whose symptoms last for a long time. In these cases, there may be a symptom located only in one region of the face, and, generally, it does not cause other symptoms such as nasal discharge and fever.

Differentiation of causes is made by the physician after clinical evaluation and physical examination, however, as they are similar, it can be difficult to identify the exact cause.

There are also other rarer causes, such as tumors, polyps, blows or chemical irritations, which should be suspected by the doctor in specific situations for these cases.

How the diagnosis is made

To diagnose sinusitis, it is only necessary the clinical evaluation of the general practitioner, pediatrician or otolaryngologist. Tests such as blood tests, X-rays and CT scans are not necessary, but can be helpful in some cases where there is doubt about the diagnosis or cause of sinusitis. Learn more about tests that can be done to confirm sinusitis.

According to the duration of the infection, sinusitis can be divided into:

  • Acute, when it lasts up to 4 weeks;
  • Subacute, when it lasts between 4 and 12 weeks;
  • Chronic, when the duration is greater than 12 weeks, with microorganisms resistant to treatment, which can last for several years.

Acute sinusitis is the most common type, however subacute or chronic sinusitis can occur in people with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, due to repeated and incorrect use of this type of medicine, or after periods of hospitalization or surgery, for example.

Chronic sinusitis can also occur in people who tend to accumulate secretions in the sinuses, due to changes in the mucosa in the region or due to certain diseases that can thicken the mucus, such as cystic fibrosis.

What to do in case of sinusitis

In the presence of symptoms that indicate sinusitis, which are accompanied by fever, purulent discharge from the nose, and severe pain in the face, one should seek the care of a general practitioner or otolaryngologist, who will recommend the appropriate treatment for the disease.

Generally, if there are only cold symptoms or symptoms that improve with home care in up to 7 to 10 days, it is recommended to use medication to relieve symptoms, such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, since, it is probably a viral or allergic sinusitis.Check out some recipes for natural remedies for sinusitis that can help relieve symptoms.

However, if the symptoms are intense, with the presence of fever, or that do not improve in 10 days, it may be necessary to use an antibiotic, such as Amoxicillin, indicated by the doctor. Learn about the main treatment options for sinusitis.

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