Sinus infections are quite common during this time of year. Nearly 31 million Americans deal with a sinus infection each year, but many of them still aren’t sure which symptoms indicate whether they have a sinus infection or not.

Sinus infections and sinus headaches aren’t the same thing, but sinus headaches are one common symptom of a sinus infection. It is important to note, however, that sinus headaches can also occur on their own, apart from a sinus infection.

Our AFC Urgent Care TN team explains more about both sinus headaches and sinus infections below, so keep reading!

What Is a Sinus Headache?

Sinus headaches cause deep, throbbing pain inside a person’s head and pressure throughout their face. Sinus headaches are frequently mistaken for migraines or tension headaches as all these conditions can share similar symptoms, such as a sensitivity to light and noise.

The difference is that sinus headaches are a specific reaction to inflammation of the sinuses, which are the air-filled cavities in the forehead and cheeks and around the nose and eyes. Because of this, a sinus headache may start off feeling like congestion and then turn into something more painful.

Common Sinus Headache Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Stuffy nose
  • Thick, colored mucus discharge from the nose
  • Feeling of fullness in the ears
  • Swollen or puffy face

What Is a Sinus Infection?

Like we said earlier, the sinuses are air-filled spaces inside the forehead, cheekbones and behind the bridge of your nose. When they get inflamed, which is usually because of an allergic reaction or a bacterial or viral infection, they swell, make more mucus and the channels that drain them get blocked with fluid. When a blockage occurs, it typically causes a sinus infection.

We’ve listed the most common symptoms of a sinus infection below.

Common Sinus Infection 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

Have further questions? We’re here for you now and always, so don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our AFC Urgent Care TN centers today!