Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, are an inflammatory condition that causes a great deal of irritating pain in the sinuses and surrounding area. Many people who have experienced sinus infections have described an uncomfortable and annoying sensation in their nasal passages.

It is possible to contract a viral or bacterial infection. While most sinus infections resolve on their own, there are some instances in which they can become severe, and you need to visit your ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.

What is Sinusitis?

Inflammation of the sinuses that persists for more than three months despite treatment is known as chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis can occur after a sinus infection that doesn’t go away on its own. When a sinus infection turns into sinusitis, the illness and symptoms have persisted for more extended periods than expected. Typically, if your sinus infection has cleared after a few weeks, then you need to see an ENT doctor who can treat your sinusitis and relieve your discomfort.

This common condition causes your nose to become stuffy because it interferes with the normal drainage of mucus. It may be difficult to breathe through your nose, and the area around your eyes may feel swollen or tender.

It is possible to develop chronic sinusitis due to an infection, sinus growths or an infection that causes swelling in the lining of your sinuses. The condition, which is also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, can affect both adults and children at the same time.

Here are some warning signs that you should be on the lookout for.


Swelling around your eyes can be a warning sign of severe sinusitis. It’s possible that you’re experiencing an allergic reaction or that you have something more serious going on, such as an infection in your eye. Inquire with your doctor about the possibility of using over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to alleviate the swelling.


When your body is fighting an infection, it is relatively common to have a low-grade fever. However, suppose your fever hits 101 degrees. In that case, this could indicate that something is amiss if the infection has spread, and you should consult with your ENT doctor to check for infections or sinusitis and get the appropriate treatment.

Pain Pressure or Fullness in The Head

Sinusitis and sinus infections can cause pain in your eyes, ear, nose, head and throat. This pain can be accompanied by a feeling of intense pressure due to swollen sinuses. Your head may feel full, and you can feel this all over your face and in your ears.

Over-the-counter remedies can reduce this pain and the pressure associated with sinusitis. But if you feel like you cannot lift your head, open your eyes or feel dizzy, you will need to see an ENT doctor to help you assess the severity of your infection and treat the sinusitis.

Loss of Smell

Chronic sinusitis can lead to a loss of smell. This is due to inflammation or irritation of the nerves in your nose during a sinus infection and sinusitis. After infection, most people regain their sense of smell quickly; however, those with sinusitis may experience loss of smell for more extended periods.

The loss could become permanent if the damage to the nerves is irreversible. An ENT doctor can help you assess your level of nerve damage and see if you can recover your sense of smell.

Nasal Discharge

While a stuffy nose is typical for sinusitis, so is nasal discharge. Nasal discharge is familiar with sinus infections and sinusitis as this is the body’s way of clearing allergens bacteria from the nasal passages. Usually, your sinuses are filled with air.

However, when you have an illness or infection, the sinuses will make a small layer of mucus to dispel anything that shouldn’t be here, resulting in nasal discharge. If your nasal discharge doesn’t clear up within a couple of weeks, your sinusitis may need further treatment and you should seek medical advice.

During this time, you may also experience drainage down the back of your throat. As your ears, nose and throat are connected, this is your body’s way of discharging the mucus and bacteria; however, it usually clears up quickly, much like a runny nose.

Treating Sinusitis

If your sinus symptoms persist after eight weeks, you should seek medical advice and treatment to ascertain the cause. Symptoms that last longer than 12 weeks are considered chronic sinusitis, and your ENT doctor can look at treatment plans for you going forward. To find out more, contact our team at Mountain Ear, Nose & Throat Associates: Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599, Murphy: 828-835-1014 and New Asheville: 828-458-8100.