Self Care Center


Health Center
LoGrasso Hall
The State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3131 or
(716) 673-3132
(716) 673-4722 (fax)

SINUSITIS (Sinus Infection)

Sinusitis is an infection of the lining of one or more of the sinus cavities.  The infection can be bacterial, viral or fungal.  A common cold or allergies are frequent causes.  When your sinus cavity is infected, the membranes of your nose swell and cause a nasal obstruction.  Swelling of the membranes of your nose often obstruct  the opening of your sinus and , therefore, prevents the draining of pus or mucous.  Pain in your sinus area may result from inflammation itself or from the pressure as secretions build up in your sinuses.

Signs and Symptoms

- Pain and pressure around your eyes or cheeks which sometimes worsens with bending over, coughing or sneezing.

- Headache, toothache, bad breath.

- Chronic cough

- Thick colored (dark yellow, green) nasal drainage.

- Difficulty breathing through your nose.

Self Care:

- Try to maintain an even temperature indoors.

- Refrain from bending over with your head down.

- Try applying warm facial packs or cautiously inhale steam from a basin of steaming water.

- Increase fluid intake to help dilute secretions

- Gently and regularly blow your nose.

- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and wash your hands often with soap and water in order to prevent spreading germs to others.

- It is important to not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, water bottles or toothbrushes with others in order to prevent spreading germs to others.

- Take pain relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen for discomfort.

- Use decongestants such as Sudafed or Mucinex D or a short term decongestant spray (no more then 72 hours)

- Try over the counter salt water (saline) nose drops or nasal sprays

- In most instances, a sinus infection is caused by a virus, and does not necessarily require an antibiotic for treatment. If an antibiotic is prescribed, you should see some improvement in 4 days. You must complete the entire course of antibiotics in order to treat the infection adequately. DO NOT share antibiotics with other people or save them for later.

- If symptoms continue to worsen, or no improvement is seen, you should be re-evaluated by a health care provider.


Page modified 7/15/14