5 Myths About Sinus Infections

Shot of a young man suffering from a cold at home

Think you have a case of sinusitis? You’re not alone! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 31 million Americans deal with sinus infections every year. With that many cases of sinusitis, it can be hard to decipher what’s true and what isn’t, but MainStreet is here to help you cut through the crud so you can heal and feel better fast!

Myth 1: A Stuffy Nose Means A Sinus Infection.

According to the American Sinus Institute, a stuffy or runny nose is far from the only symptom of sinusitis. While nasal congestion is one of the tell-tale signs of a sinus infection, it can come with a variety of other illnesses. 

If you have a sinus infection, you will likely struggle with these symptoms as well: 

  • Postnasal drip (mucus that drips down the throat)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Pressure in the ears, nose, and throat
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough

Unsure if you have a sinus infection? Visit MainStreet Family Care! We diagnose and treat sinus infections in our urgent care services

Myth 2: I Need Antibiotics To Treat A Sinus Infection.

Most sinus infections are acute sinusitis, which is caused by other viral infections such as COVID-19 or the common cold and do not require antibiotic treatment. 

However, for cases of subacute sinusitis (caused by a bacterial growth in the sinuses), antibiotic treatment might be just the trick. This type of infection can have symptoms for one to three months. According to The Cleveland Clinic, symptoms of sinusitis that do not improve in ten days could be a bacterial sinus infection and should be tested. 

Acute sinusitis and its symptoms will usually resolve themselves within a week to 10 days. Common treatment options for a sinus infection include: 

  • Over-the-counter allergy and pain medications
  • Decongestants
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid dehydration by drinking fluids
  • Nasal spray

Myth 3: Sinus Infections Are Contagious.

Sinus infections themselves are not contagious, but illnesses that can cause sinus infections can be. Common contagious illnesses that may cause a sinus infection include: 

  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • COVID-19
  • Upper respiratory infection

Myth 4: Green or Yellow Mucus Isn’t Normal With A Sinus Infection.

This is a huge misconception about sinus infections! One of the most telling signs that you have a sinus infection is the presence of bright green or yellowish mucus from the nose. This is caused by the infection in your sinuses and should not give you cause to worry!

Myth 5: All Sinus Headaches Are Caused by Sinus Infections.

Sinus headaches can be a symptom of a sinus infection, but they do not immediately mean you are struggling with a sinus infection. Allergies, migraine attacks, and a variety of other illnesses can cause these headaches.

Turn To MainStreet Family Care

Are you or a family member facing a sinus infection? Turn to MainStreet! We can help you heal and feel better fast. 

To visit our clinic, register online. Online registration allows you to wait from anywhere until we are ready for you. We’ll send you a text when it’s time to head to the clinic. 

Walk-ins are always welcome at MainStreet! However, please be aware that walk-ins may encounter longer in-clinic wait times as walk-in patients are added to the same queue as those who register online.