There are several different types of sinus infections that you should be familiar with. Keep reading to learn more about sinusitis.

What Are the Main Types of Sinus Infections?

Around 28.9 million United States adults are diagnosed with sinusitis each year. It’s a fairly common condition that you have likely already experienced in your lifetime at least once. You may think you already know the answer to the question, “What is a sinus infection?”

But, did you know that there are different types of sinus infections? Read on to explore the differences between viral, acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, and fungal sinus infections.

Viral Sinus Infection

A viral sinus infection is one of the most common causes of sinus infections. This is often brought on by a cold and is typically contagious. However, the other person may or may not get a sinus infection from the cold.

It usually happens quite quickly with congestion, nasal discharge, and pressure. Antibiotics are not required to treat this type of sinus infection. You can help with recovery by staying hydrated, resting, taking decongestants, and using a saline rinse.

Acute Bacterial Sinus Infection

Bacterial sinus infections are also pretty common. This can occur after a viral infection or an allergy exacerbation.

Symptoms are similar to that of a viral sinus infection. In addition, nasal discharge may be more discolored with higher degrees of facial pressure and pain. You can also experience an associated fever and a general feeling of being unwell.

These types of infections can take longer to resolve than viral. Antibiotics, decongestants, and saline rinses are used for acute bacterial sinus infection treatment.

Chronic Bacterial Sinus Infection

When acute bacterial sinus infections are either left untreated or treated unsuccessfully, they may evolve into chronic bacterial sinus infections. Symptoms may resolve and the person can be left unaware that they still have an infection. Other symptoms that can develop include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Nighttime nasal congestion
  • Snoring
  • Ear popping
  • Chronic cough
  • Dizziness
  • Hoarseness

To treat this, one can undergo a non-surgical treatment called a balloon sinuplasty. Scheduling a visit at can help you understand more about your type of sinus infection and treatment options.

Fungal Sinus Infection

A fungal sinus infection is not an “infection” at all. Instead, it is a local allergic reaction to mold spores. This happens when a patient is severely allergic to mold spores, which can lead to polyp formation in the sinuses.

This causes a blockage in the nasal cavities. A secondary bacterial infection can develop as well.

This type of infection is treated with a combination of oral antibiotics, systemic steroid treatment, balloon sinuplasty, and polyp removal. In addition, patients will likely need allergy drop therapy for sinus infection prevention.

Classifying Types of Sinus Infections

There are several other ways to classify a sinus infection. You can also identify them by occurrence and location.

Diagnosing Types of Sinus Infections

The easiest way to diagnose types of sinus infections is by going to a doctor. The most common sinus infections can resolve on their own, but if you find that things are not improving, you may want to schedule an exam.

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