Sinusitis is a condition where your sinus cavities become inflamed – ‘itis’ means inflammation. This inflammation can be triggered either by allergies, autoimmune problems, acid reflux, immune deficiencies, bacterial infections, or viral infections, environmental factors or dietary factors Any condition that causes inflammation can start the sinusitis cycle.
In all cases of sinusitis the mucosal lining of the sinuses swell due to the inflammation. This happens when the blood containing inflammatory cells migrate to these areas.
This is the body’s immune response to harmful pathogens, irritants or damaged cells.
However, when the nasal lining swells it can block the ostia (small openings in the sinus cavities) and consequently the mucus can no longer drain properly.
This creates pressure to build and causes pain and tenderness in the affected area. Additionally, if the mucus cannot drain over time it become ‘stagnant’ and bacteria can then grow which leads to a sinus infection.
No doubt that if you are suffering from sinusitis you will feel facial pain swelling and pressure, usually causing substantial headaches.
However, those suffering from ‘sinus headaches’ may not actually have sinusitis, but rather be migraines or tension headaches. Check to see if you have any of the other symptoms of sinusitis and be sure to visit a healthcare professional for the proper diagnosis.
The main symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Pain and Pressure in your face
- Nasal congestion
- Post-nasal drip
- Headaches – dull, constant or aching
When the sinuses become infected the following symptoms also accompany the above:
- Thick nasal discharge
- Yellow/green mucus
What are the symptoms of sinusitis vs a cold or allergy?
|Duration of illness||Over 10-14 days||Varies||Under 10 Days|
|Nasal Discharge||Whitish or colored||Clear, thin, watery||Thick, whitish or thin|
|Pain in Upper Teeth||Sometimes||No||No|
Due to the swelling and build-up of mucus in the sinus cavity bending forward may also cause facial pain and pressure.
This is also most often seen with individuals with sinus headaches as well. Conversely, people suffering from sinus headaches do not usually have nausea or as sensitive to bright light – which is usually most common with migraines.