What Is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection is an inflammation of the air cavities found in the passages inside the nose. More commonly known as sinusitis, this infection is one of the more common conditions that may affect people their whole lives. It usually affects the paranasal sinuses which are air filled cavities located in the dense portion of the bones in the skull.

Causes of sinus infections

There can be a lot of factors that may bring about a sinus infection. Most of them are environmental in nature. They can be caused by something that can interfere with the air flow on the sinuses and the effective drainage of the mucous. Obstructions in the sinuses may cause swelling of the tissue lining as well as the adjacent nasal passage tissue such as what happens when a person experiences a cold, allergy or uses tissue irritants such as nasal sprays or even smoke.

Sinus infections may also be caused by tumors and other tissue growth near the sinuses. This impedes the proper drainage of the mucous as they thicken further. Dehydration may also help cause the sinuses to clog up. Lack of humidity in the air and medication that causes dryness may also contribute to the clogging of the sinuses.

Symptoms of sinus infections

Aside from the clogging of the air passages in the nose, sinus infections may also cause headaches. Facial tenderness and pain may also be experienced when one has an acute sinus infection. Other symptoms of a sinus infection include cloudy, discolored nasal drainage, a feeling of nasal stuffiness, a sore throat, as well as coughing. Some people notice that their headache worsens when they try to lean forward. In allergic sinusitis other associated allergy symptoms of itching eyes and sneezing may also be experienced.