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Sinus infection - Definition


A sinus infection is the presence of a foreign microorganism in the sinuses, causing an inflammation called sinusitis. It is specifically the inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, which are hollow cavities within the facial bones (they connect to the nasal cavity). A sinus infection is usually caused by viruses or bacteria that invade and irritate the mucus membrane. Sinusitis can be an isolated infection and only affect one sinus: the maxillary sinus, frontal, ethmoid or sphenoid may be affected. Common symptoms include a stuffy and runny nose, fever, and headache usually located next to the affected sinus. Sinusitis can also be chronic. It is treated with antibiotics.