Signs & symptoms of bacterial sinus infection

Updated July 19, 2017

Bacterial sinus infections (also known as sinusitis) frequently occur after a viral infection such as a cold or flu. The infection is classified based on how long the symptoms last. The classifications are acute, subacute, chronic, and recurrent.

Facial Pressure

Facial pressure occurs from the build-up of mucus in the sinus cavities. The pressure can be limited to the sinuses in the cheeks or include the sinus in the forehead.

Nasal Discharge

Nasal discharge is generally present with a cold or flu. However, in a sinus infection, it is thicker and yellow or green in colour.

Double Sickening

Doctors call the sinus infection after a cold a double sickening. That's because the patient almost feels better before starting to feel sick again. If you have been sick for more than ten days--or your symptoms started getting worse five to seven days after the start of the cold--you may have a sinus infection.


Halitosis or bad breath from the infection may not be much of a problem since many people with sinus infections also experience a loss of the sense of smell.

Dental Pain

The pressure from the build-up of mucus in the sinuses can also cause the teeth in the upper jaw to hurt.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms of a sinus infection include fever; headache, persistent cough; ear pain, pressure, or fullness; eyes may be red, bulging, or painful; and fatigue.

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About the Author

Kim Leslie has been writing for twelve years and holds degrees from Maryville College and the University of Tennessee. She has written for "Resource Recycling Magazine," "State Laws Recycling Update," "Recycling Laws International" and "Watermarks". She has knowledge of Lupus, GERDs, science education, environmental issues, eldercare, parenting, Pilates and yoga.