Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, becomes more common during this time of year. Even though most of us have either dealt with or heard of sinusitis before, do you know what causes it?

Our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team provides some helpful answers and further information about this below, so keep reading.

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue that surrounds the sinuses, which are hollow spaces within the bones between the eyes, behind the cheekbones and in the forehead. They make mucus, which keeps the inside of the nose moist. That, in turn, helps protect against dust, allergens and pollutants.

When sinuses are healthy, they’re filled with air. However, when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection (sinusitis). We’ve listed the most common causes of sinusitis below.

Common Sinusitis Causes

  • A common cold
  • Allergic rhinitis, which is swelling of the lining of the nose caused by allergens
  • Nasal polyps (small growths in the lining of the nose)
  • A deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity

Can Sinusitis Be Treated?

Definitely. Usually, though, you won’t need to visit a doctor to adequately treat sinusitis. Most cases go away on their own, and symptoms can be reduced with self-care techniques like saline nose sprays and OTC decongestants.

If you aren’t sure whether you’re experiencing a sinus infection, we’ve listed the symptoms that you will likely have below.

Common Sinusitis Symptoms

  • Thick, yellow or greenish mucus from the nose (runny nose) or down the back of the throat (postnasal drainage)
  • Blocked or stuffy nose that causes difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when bending over

Afraid you’re dealing with a sinus infection? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC team today if you have questions or if you need general medical care! We’re here for you now and always.