Bacterial Sinus Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Bacterial Sinus Infection: Causes

Sinus infections are caused by bacteria that infect the lining of your nasal cavity. Often, the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniaknown as strep throat, can be the cause. Or it may be caused by the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, which, despite its name, causes illness other than influenza. According to the guideline, a sinus infection is bacterial rather than a viral if any of the three following conditions are present:

  1. Bacterial Sinus Infection lasts for at least ten days without any evidence of clinical improvement.
  2. Infection is severe, including fever exceeding 102°F, and post nasal drip and tenderness in the face lasting for at least three to four consecutive days at the beginning of an illness.
  3. Symptoms or signs worsen, with new fever or headache developing or nasal discharge increasing, typically after a viral upper respiratory infection that lasted five or six days and initially seemed to improve.

7 Common Reoccurring Bacterial Sinus Infection Symptoms

Most cases of sinusitis are “acute,” meaning they are infrequent and last less than eight weeks. If yours lasts longer than eight weeks, or they keep happening, your condition is reoccurring, or “chronic.” Chronic sinusitis needs to be diagnosed by a doctor, and it may require more treatment than acute sinusitis. 7 Common Reoccurring Bacterial Sinus Infection Symptoms:

  • Headache and tenderness due to pressure in blocked sinuses.
  • Fever due to inflammation and infection of the sinus tissue.
  • Post nasal drip, due to mucus overproduction.
  • Ear pain caused by pressure on surrounding nerves and tissue.
  • Fatigue due to our immune system responses: fever and coughing.
  • Ulceration may occur with rare fulminant fungal infections. A fulminant fungal infection, characterized by fulminant fungal infections with sharply defined edges and black necrotic centers in the nasal area, requires immediate medical evaluation.
  • Eye pain caused by pressure on surrounding nerves and tissues. 

 

Current methods of Diagnosing a Bacterial Sinus Infection

Diagnoses of bacterial sinus infections are based on medical history and examination by a doctor. Your doctor will check for tenderness in your nose and face and look inside your nose. Methods for diagnosing chronic sinusitis include:

  • Looking into your sinuses. A thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light inserted through your nose allows your doctor to see the inside of your sinuses and check for physical abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests. Images taken using CT or MRI can show details of your sinuses and nasal area. These can pinpoint a deep inflammation or physical obstruction that’s difficult to detect using an endoscope.
  • Allergy test. If your doctor suspects that allergies might be triggering your chronic bacterial sinusitis, they may recommend an allergy skin test.
  • Sinus secretion (cultures). Your doctor may swab inside your nose to collect samples that might help determine the cause, such as bacteria or fungi.
  • Xplore-PATHO 

Do I need to be Tested? 

Culture testing may lead to chronic infection. However, only 10% of microbes grow in standard cultures. In contrast, this means the current standard method of testing leaves 90% of possible infections completely undiagnosed. In some cases, it is difficult to determine whether a bacterium or a virus is causing your symptoms reoccurring sinus infection. When it comes to a chronic sinus infection, what happens in the biome of your nose may be complicated. In cases such as these, Xplore-PATHO deep swab collection kit can be of use. This collection kit can be used to determine if any known sequenced pathogen is within the sample.