ZocdocAnswersDo I have a sinus infection?

Question

Do I have a sinus infection?

I have pain underneath my eyes and there is also some along my forehead too. Does that mean I have a sinus infection? Nothing seems to be wrong with my nose but I still wonder if I have a sinus infection.

Answer

Pain in the forehead and underneath the eyes can come from many things, and is not necessarily related to a sinus infection. It is common for people to believe that they have a sinus infection when they have something else that is causing their pain. One of the most common imitators is something as simple as a variant of a normal headache, which instead of causing pain in the head is causing that pain to be felt in the face or forehead. Signs and symptoms of a sinus headache include fevers, runny nose, thick yellow or green nasal discharge, postnasal drip, and nasal congestion. Often, it comes on after a 7-10 day period of cold symptoms, where there is a runny nose and nasal congestion, as well as general fatigue and not feeling well. The recommendations for treatment of runny nose and concern for sinus infection are that antibiotics not be started until at least 7-10 days of symptoms, to make sure that antibiotics are not being prescribed needlessly for viral infections (in which they are useless). Over prescribing antibiotics may lead to resistant bacteria such as MRSA, which are a threat to all of us. Please speak to your doctor about your pain.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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