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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Symptoms

Common symptoms of acute sinusitis include nasal congestion, thick green nasal discharge, fever, headache, tiredness and facial pain. Some symptoms depend on which sinus is inflamed. For example:

  • Frontal sinusitis (behind the forehead) can cause pain in the forehead and pain that gets worse when lying on your back.

  • Ethmoid sinusitis (behind the bridge of the nose) can cause pain between the eyes, eyelid swelling, loss of smell, and pain when touching the sides of the nose.

  • Sphenoid sinusitis (behind the eyes) can cause earaches, neck pain or headache at the top of the head or deep behind the forehead.

  • Maxillary sinusitis (behind the cheeks) can cause pain in the cheeks, under the eyes, or in the upper teeth and jaw.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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