When many of us think of sinusitis (more commonly known as a sinus infection), we think of lots of congestion and lots of mucus.

While both of these symptoms are equally common and icky, they aren’t the only signs of sinusitis to watch out for. Our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team provides some further information on this common infection type below, so keep reading!

What Are Sinuses?

Before you understand sinusitis and its common symptoms, it’s important to know what sinuses are in the first place. Sinuses are a series of connected, hollow spaces behind the cheekbones, forehead and nose.

Sinuses produce thin mucus. As air travels through the sinuses to your lungs, the mucus traps harmful particles like dust, pollutants and bacteria. After those particles are trapped in the mucus, the mucus then drains out through the nose. When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, though, germs can grow and cause an infection (sinusitis).

Common Sinusitis Symptoms

  • Post nasal drip (mucus drips down the throat)
  • Nasal discharge (thick yellow or green discharge from nose) or stuffy nose
  • Facial pressure (particularly around the nose, eyes, and forehead), headache and or pain in your teeth or ears
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Cough
  • Tiredness

Is a Headache a Common Symptom?

No, not a true sinus headache isn’t that common. While many people think they might be experiencing a sinus headache, medical experts state that most “sinus headaches” are actually migraines.

While it’s true that sinus headaches are not very common, it’s still obviously possible to get one. If you have a sinus headache, your headache will almost always be accompanied by thick, discolored nasal discharge. Additionally, you’ll have symptoms like a weaker sense of smell or no smell, facial pain or pressure, and commonly, fever. If you believe that you have a sinus headache, we’ve listed some ways you can feel better below.

Ways to Treat a Sinus Headache

  • Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
  • Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
  • Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
  • Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.

Do you have further questions about sinusitis? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team today.