Brochures from The American Academy of Otolaryngology

Sinus Pain Causes
20 Sinus Questions
Sinus Surgery
Sinus Meds
Childrens Sinusitis
Stuffy Nose
Post Nasal Drip
Nose Bleeds
Smell and Taste
Allergies and Hay Fever

Earaches & Infections
Ear Pain and TMJ Syndrome
Tinnitis (Ringing in the Ears)
Ear Wax
Swimmers Ear
Meniere's Disease
A Hole in the Eardrum
Noise Exposure
Ears and Airplanes

Sore Throat
Tonsils & Adenoids
Acid Reflux: A Common Cause of   Many Throat Problems
Swallowing Problems
Cancer Warning Signs
Your Thyroid Gland
Sinus and Facial Pain:

You don't have a cold or allergy-you have a sinus condition. What does that mean?

Information on this site can also help you determine which of these problems are the most likely, and therefore what course of action to take to improve your condition. When pain is persistent or when the cause is unclear, an ear, nose, and throat specialist can help determine what is the likely source of your sinus pain.

Allergic rhinitis: This condition is an inflammatory nasal response, most commonly to inhalant allergens. Symptoms include sneezing and itchy eyes, nose, and palate. Allergic rhinitis can induce sufficient inflammation to obstruct the openings to the sinuses. Consequently, the sinuses become infected and a bacterial sinus infection occurs.

Infectious sinusitis: When chronic, this bacterial disease produces nasal secretions that are yellow and green and contain bacteria. Patients may feel pain and pressure in the involved sinuses and may be ill with fever, malaise, and other symptoms. The classic symptoms of this condition are nasal obstruction, congestion, facial pain, and post-nasal drip.

Septal deviation:
A nose that is not properly aligned may result in an airway obstruction, thereby causing sinus problems. Standard surgical or medical treatments for sinusitis will not aid in treating sinus pain resulting from this condition.

Other causes of sinus pain include:

Vasomotor rhinitis: This disorder is caused by stress or a psychological disorder, manifesting as congestion, obstruction, sinus pain, and nasal secretion. Unlike other sinus disorders, this condition "comes and goes," presenting itself episodically with stress.

Nasal polyps: Nasal polyps are a consequence of inflammation that results from a wide range of sinus disorders. Treatment should entail addressing the root causes of the polyps as well as excising the growths.

Fungal sinusitis:
An allergic response to fungi can result in chronic sinusitis. This condition affects approximately seven percent of those suffering from chronic sinusitis.

HIV illness:
Those diagnosed as HIV-positive will often have thick nasal secretions, which become increasingly sticky as the disease progresses. This often presents as chronic sinusitis.

Aging rhinitis: As one ages, the nasal mucus loses its water content and becomes increasingly thick and sticky. Patients complain of post-nasal drip, cough, and hoarseness; the condition is best treated with nasal irrigation and increased hydration.

Tumors: The presence of tumors in the sinuses is relatively uncommon. They are discovered with a nasal obstruction, often with heavy nosebleeds.

2001 AAO-HNS, Inc.

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