What is a Severe Sinus Infection?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2019
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A severe sinus infection is characterized by sinus pain, pressure, and congestion. A sinus infection is typically caused by bacteria that has multiplied in the sinus area. When symptoms such as fever and chills accompany nasal congestion, a severe bacterial sinus infection may have developed.

Chronic sinusitis can result in swelling of the sinus cavities. This may be due to allergies or recurring upper respiratory infections. When the membranes and sinuses become swollen and inflamed, scar tissue is likely to develop. Without proper drainage, a sinus infection can follow.

Some individuals may find themselves being prone to a sinus infection after recovering from a bad cold. One of the signs that a cold has developed into a secondary infection of the sinuses is the presence of a very thick green or yellow colored mucus. This may either be discharged from the nostrils or coughed up. In more serious cases, a serious sinus infection can lead to an ear infection or possibly pneumonia, if left untreated for a long while.

Those who are suffering from a severe sinus infection will often have pain, pressure, and tenderness around the eye sockets, across the bridge of the nose and in the cheekbone area. A physician can determine if the patient has a bacterial sinus infection or a simple head cold. Typically, common colds produce only a mild fever, although a severe sinus infection could cause a moderate to high fever.


Decongestants are often recommended for a severe sinus infection and if fever is present, an antibiotic may be prescribed as well. If the patient experiences moderate pain or headache, an over-the-counter pain reliever may help alleviate that. Post nasal drip, which often accompanies a sinus infection can sometimes be controlled by the use of an antihistamine.

A sinus infection during pregnancy may need to be treated without the use of medications such as decongestants and antihistamines. In this case, the patient may find relief by inhaling steam. Steam therapy can often relieve and break up sinus congestion and is often recommended by physicians as a safe way to treat sinusitis.

Some doctors believe that sinus infections can occur due to over usage or misuse of nasal decongestant sprays. If such sprays are used more frequently than the recommended dosage, a rebound effect can occur, making nasal and sinus passages become even more inflamed and swollen. Many individuals find that a safe solution and alternative can be employing the use of a saline nasal moisturizing spray.


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Post 4

Another symptom of a severe sinus infection is stiff, dried mucus. It's usually bright yellow, but unlike the mucus you see with a cold, it isn't runny at all.

I know that I have a sinus infection when my mucus gets all dried up and gets stuck inside my nose. Sometimes, I can blow some of it out, but I usually have to yank on it to get the entire piece. Some of it remains stuck way up inside my nasal passages and causes a lot of discomfort.

Post 3

@orangey03 – This is why treatment of a severe sinus infection is so important. Once you are convinced you have one, you need to see a doctor.

I was stubborn, and I let my sinus infection persist for a couple of months before going. I developed a cough like the one I had during my episode of bronchitis, and I just couldn't take it anymore.

I had to have antibiotics in order to recover. I was only making myself sicker by postponing the inevitable.

Within a few days of starting the course of antibiotics, I began to feel so much better. The doctor also gave me some steroids to boost my immune system, so I'm sure that also had something to do with how much better I felt.

Post 2

A good way to tell whether you have a sinus infection or cold is to see how long it lasts. A cold usually lasts only two weeks, but if your symptoms linger longer than this, you might have a sinus infection.

I've heard that there are two types of sinus infection. One is caused by a virus, and one is caused by bacteria. The viral kind goes away on its own in a couple of weeks, but the bacterial kind can stick around for months and can go into your chest and cause worse problems.

Post 1

I had severe sinus infection symptoms last winter. I had experienced sinus infections before, but I had never felt quite this bad.

I had one new symptom in addition to the regular pressure and bright mucus, and that was pain in my cheekbones when chewing. This made it hard to eat, because every time I chewed, I felt a sharp, shooting pain go up through my cheeks.

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