sinus infection photo

Trail of pus secretions seen in right nasal passage during an episode of sinusitis

Nose and Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)

Infections in the nose may come from the sinuses (air spaces in the skull) or may be associated with a bad cold or flu. This may present with a yellowish or greenish discharge from the nasal passages, blocked nose and a poor sense of smell.  In children, inflammation of the adenoid tissue at the back of the nose may lead to a persistent runny nose and mouth-breathing.

The first line treatment for nose and sinus infections usually includes antibiotics, nasal decongestant sprays and saline nasal wash. Most infections will clear up within a week.

If they do not get better, then a thorough examination of the nasal passages and sinus openings with a flexible endoscope is helpful to look for other problems such as nasal polyps. Chronic sinus infections may have to be treated with minimally invasive functional endoscopic surgery (FESS) to improve the drainage of the sinuses and nasal passages.