Around 31 million Americans suffer from chronic sinus disease, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Most people with chronic sinusitis (sinus infections) are affected by the condition from environmental factors or by a physical issue. The walls of the nasal cavity remain inflamed and irritated, leading to consistent or reoccurring sinus infections. The most common treatment for chronic sinus disease is either surgery or drastic lifestyle changes. In some cases, the cause of sinus disease remains somewhat of a mystery, but the symptoms are identifiable.
Pain is the most common symptom of chronic sinus disease. The pain is the result of pressure built up throughout the head from the inflamed sinus cavity. The inflamed sinuses swell and press on the back of eyes, the inner-ear and the roof of mouth, causing tooth pain. The pain may be accompanied with swelling under the eyes or around the cheeks. The pain is usually sensitive to touch, especially in the eyes and the teeth. The pain can radiate to the back of the neck and feel like a deep and aching pain.
Nasal congestion can manifest itself in a few different ways with chronic sinus disease. A person may experience consistent postnasal drip, thick, yellow nasal discharge or the inability to breathe properly through the nose. Postnasal drip is the result of excessive mucus buildup in the sinuses that cannot drain through the nose, so it drips in the back of the throat. Postnasal drip can lead to chest congestion, a soar throat and a sour stomach. Some people experience thick, yellow nasal discharge with spots of blood. Any time you see blood coming from your nose, you should seek medical attention. If the chronic sinus disease is the result of a deviated septum, a person’s airflow may be cut off entirely through the nose.
A person with chronic sinus disease may experience bad breath (from postnasal drip), dizziness or nausea or fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fatigue is common for people who have pain behind the eyes. Due to the pressing of the sinus cavity on the back of the eyes, a person may feel excessively drowsy. Brain fog is another byproduct of chronic sinusitis. Brain fog is a lack of mental clarity due to a physical condition. Chronic sinus disease can affect a person’s ability to concentrate and maintain mental clarity.