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Sinus Infection and Pain

There are many possible symptoms of a sinus infection. The most common include:
  • Nasal congestion or blockage
  • Drainage of thick, yellow-to-green mucus (which can drain out the nose or down the back of the throat)
  • Tooth pain or discomfort
  • Facial pain or discomfort that is worse when bending over.
With a sinus infection, the pain or discomfort will partially depend on which sinuses are affected. Common locations for pain include:
  • The forehead
  • Teeth
  • Upper jaw
  • Cheeks
  • Behind the eyes
  • The side of the nose.
However, it's not uncommon for people to have pain or tenderness in several locations.
Most symptoms of sinusitis -- including pain -- develop over 1 day and improve within 7 to 10 days. Symptoms tend to be at their worst from day 3 to day 6.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), or acetaminophen (Tylenol®), can be used for pain relief. Irrigating the nose with a non-medicated saline solution or spray several times a day can also help with congestion and decrease the need for pain medicine (see Nasal Irrigation).
(For more information, click Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms or Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Medicines. These articles go into greater detail about the signs and symptoms of sinus infections and the drugs that are used to treat them.)
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