A sinus infection or sinusitis occurs when the sinuses are inflamed or swollen. The sinuses are air cavities found within the cheekbones, on either side of the bridge of the nose, behind the nose, behind the forehead and behind the eyebrows. Sinusitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection, and less often by viruses or fungi. Other causes can include allergies, tooth infections, nasal polyps, and a deviated septum. There are two types of sinus infections: acute and chronic. Acute infections are short-lived and generally caused by allergies or the common cold. Chronic infections can last for months and often recur.
Pain is one of the first symptoms people experience with a sinus infection, and it is also the most noticeable. There are many sinuses located around the nose and eyes, and they can all cause dull aches or intense sharp pain. When inflammation and swelling take hold, the pressure can also cause a pounding, radiating effect. This symptom may be felt through the forehead, jaw, and teeth, as well.
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