Sinus symptoms can disrupt any sufferer’s daily life and lead to a host of other health concerns. Pain and pressure of the sinuses can mimic head colds and even tooth aches. When left untreated, scar tissue or polyps can form. If you’re wondering if your symptoms are sinus related, read on to learn more.
Sinus Symptom #1: Pain and Pressure of the Face
Sinuses are the air-filled cavities composed of bone that are located behind the face. They can become inflamed or infected with bacteria for a number of reasons. Allergies, a long-lasting head cold, or malformed anatomy can lead to sinus troubles. One method of pinpointing whether or not a sensation occurs due to sinus issues is to press on the face where the underlying sinuses exist. Use two fingers to place pressure on the forehead between the eyebrows, the bridge of the nose, or on the apples of the cheeks. Resulting pain could signal a sinus issue.
Some sinus sufferers will also notice that they feel tooth pain despite being in good dental health. The enlarged, inflamed sinuses may exert pressure on the nerves of the teeth, especially the upper back teeth, which are below the maxillary sinus (located behind the cheeks). Tooth pain that cannot otherwise be explained may be caused by sinus issues.
Sinus Symptom #2: Foul-Smelling Nasal Discharge
The sinuses are lined with mucosa, otherwise known as a mucus membrane. This tissue remains hydrated by mucus for the purpose of flushing out unwanted bacteria from the interior of the sinuses, among other reasons. When the mucus traps bacteria but is not regularly flushed from the sinuses, an infection may form. A person may develop a strange taste and bad breath, or notice a foul odor that seems to occur from within. The mucus may eventually exit through the nostrils or down the back of the throat, and can carry this nasty discharge with it.
Sinus Symptom #3: Discolored Nasal Discharge
As explained above, bacteria that repopulates in the warm, moist environment of ineffective sinus cavities creates an infection. In addition to smelling and tasting awful, the discharge may be a different color from regular mucus. When patients experience sinus problems, they may see their nasal discharge change from a clear or yellowish color to a thicker, green version of the nasal fluid.
Sinus Symptom #4: Otherwise Unexplained Fever
When bacteria infiltrates an area of the body, the immune system kicks into overdrive and raises the temperature of the body in an effort to fight the intruder. Because sinus infections are caused by bacteria, a person’s normal body temperature may increase. Sinus infections can begin with a cold or flu but linger much longer than either ailment. Untreated, prolonged fevers can cause serious damage to one’s health and should be assessed by a doctor.
Sinus Symptom #5: Coughing
Often during sleep when gravity may naturally assist with sinus drainage, mucus will escape down the back of the throat. While some of the fluid will eventually enter the stomach, another portion of it may be routed to the lungs. Post-nasal and sinus drip can accumulate in the lungs and cause a person to cough. Because the mucus may be thicker as a result of the infection, some of the mucus can also get trapped in the throat, causing sinus sufferers to clear their throat frequently in the few hours after waking.
To learn more about ways to combat sinus problems and related discomfort, contact Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, an experienced professional and specialist in nasal and sinus disorders. The doctor runs dual practices, Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists and Hudson Valley Sinus Center, to provide patients with an array of treatment options that range from allergy shots to septoplasty. He was the first doctor in the Hudson Valley area to offer balloon sinuplasty (balloon sinus dilation), which is an innovative, minimally invasive treatment that both expands the sinus passageways and offers a deep cleansing of the cavities. Balloon sinus dilation is typically performed in lieu of endoscopic sinus surgery when possible.
More about Dr. Rubinstein
Dr. Rubinstein has been a staple in the Hudson Valley facial plastics community for nearly two decades, specializing in aesthetic laser procedures, facial plastic surgery, as well as nasal and sinus disorders. The doctor skillfully blends artistry with modern medicine to provide each patient with an improved form and function. The doctor is double board certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery and an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
Please contact the Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists office through the Patient Consultation Form or by phone at 845-863-1772, or the Hudson Valley Sinus Center at 845-562-6673. Dr. Rubinstein’s practice, Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, has two New York locations in Newburgh and Manhattan. The upstate and city locations provide patients with convenient options to meet with the doctor.