Acute sinus infections may last from two to three weeks or can linger for as long as 12 weeks. In some instances, acute sinus infections may recur more than several times a year. You may have acute sinusitis if you have one or more of the following signs or symptoms.
- A "roller-coaster" cold - just when you're getting over a cold, congestion and discomfort return.
- A stuffy or runny nose.
- Thick, yellowish-green nasal discharge.
- Facial pain or headache that seems to be worse on one side.
- Pain that increases when leaning forward.
- A cough or sore throat that gets worse at night.
- Pain in the upper teeth.
- Decreased or lost sense of smell and taste.
Although the signs and symptoms for chronic sinusitis are similar to acute sinusitis, they may not be as apparent, so you may not even know you have a sinus infection. However, you may experience episodes of sudden worsening. If you suspect that you have sinusitis, it's important that you seek medical attention. Acute sinusitis may require treatment with antibiotics. Chronic sinusitis should be investigated and treated aggressively. Sometimes, people have an allergy and it's not sinusitis at all. Allergy tests will be able to determine this.