Can Sinus Infection Cause Cough?

A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is likely to be the cause of a runny or stuffy nose that persists after a cold or episode of allergies, along with facial pain or pressure in the sinuses. Fortunately, relief is possible with the proper treatment for the appropriate type of sinusitis.

Your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed when you have a sinus infection, often known medically as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis. Acute sinusitis, which sometimes lasts even after the other infection of the respiratory symptoms have faded, is typically a result of a viral infection.

Other conditions that might aggravate the discomfort and symptoms of sinusitis include sensitivities, nasal passages, and tooth infections.

Can sinus infection cause cough?
By YuriArcurs / Unlimphotos Copyright

1. Can Sinus Infection Cause Cough?

Can you cough if you have a sinus infection? Indeed, a sinus infection can cause coughing. This specific condition is entirely related to extra mucus and the way your sinuses try to clear that mucus. Your body is likely to produce more mucus than usual when you have a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection, which can lead to the mucus leaking down your throat.

Although it may sound horrible, mucus in the throat is rather typical and can occur whether you are ill or not. On the other hand, if this drainage continues for a long time, you might develop a persistent cough. A cough brought on by a sinus infection isn’t always alarming, and you don’t necessarily need to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

1.1. Types of Sinus Infections

Sinus infections come in four different flavors. The following are the types of sinus infections-

  • Chronic Sinusitis: This transient infection frequently coexists with a cold or another respiratory condition. A bacterial infection may potentially be the reason for it (acute bacterial sinusitis).
  • Subacute Sinusitis: While chronic sinusitis persists for more than 12 weeks, subacute sinusitis lasts four to twelve weeks. When you experience three or more bouts of acute sinusitis in a calendar year, you have recurrent sinusitis. Typically, sinusitis begins during or shortly after a cold.
  • Recurrent Acute Sinusitis: Recurrent sinusitis is somewhat different from recurrent sinusitis, commonly known as repeated sinus infections. If an acute sinus infection returns four or more times within a year and lasts for seven days or more each time, it is deemed recurrent.
  • Persistent Sinusitis: Persistent sinus infections are those that last longer than 12 weeks or keep returning. Persistent sinusitis can have a serious negative effect on a person’s quality of life by impairing their ability to breathe, sleep, and carry out daily activities.

2. What Causes Sinus Infections?

The bones around your eyes, cheekbones, and nose have voids within them. Your sinus canals are hollow, wet, and ordinarily trouble-free. The lining of these cavities, however, becomes inflamed when you have a cold or allergies. The swelling brought on by the inflammation prevents your sinuses from draining normally into your nose and throat.

When the mucus is lodged in your sinuses due to partially or entirely blocked exits from your nose and throat, it can feel extremely uncomfortable and stuffy. If everything is going well, your sinuses will discharge and return to normal as the inflammation subsides.

But there are occasions when the mucus accumulation in your sinuses turns into a haven for bacteria, fungi, or viruses. If these germs become established, your sinuses may continue to be inflamed long after your cold or allergies have subsided, leading to a sinus infection that worsens as the viruses, bacteria, or fungus spread.

Sinus Symptoms
By Karolina Grabowska / Pexels Copyright

3. Sinus Infection: Symptoms

Sinus infections, sometimes referred to as sinusitis, are frequent ailments that can irritate and inflame many people. Several symptoms, such as nasal congestion, pain or pressure around the eyes and forehead, and thick, discolored mucus, can appear when the sinuses are inflamed or infected. We’ll go into more detail about the typical signs of a sinus infection below.

  • Nasal Discharge: Nasal discharge is a type of mucus that comes out of your nose and makes you frequently blow it. It may be yellow, green, or murky in appearance. This disposal, which reaches your nasal passages, is a direct consequence of your sick sinuses.
  • Nasal Congestion and Postnasal Drip: When you have a sinus infection, nasal discharge, which can be murky, green, or yellow, may require frequent blowing of the nose. Your diseased sinuses are the source of this discharge, which enters your nasal passages.
  • Sinus Headaches: You may get headache symptoms if your sinuses are swollen and under constant pressure. This kind of headache frequently comes with additional signs, such as a stuffy or runny nose, pressure, or pain in the head, cheekbones, or behind the eyes.
  • Cough: Postnasal drip is the primary cause of cough during a sinus infection, which is frequently accompanied by excruciating throat irritation. A sinus infection-related cough is typically moist, and persistent, and may irritate your throat.
  • Fatigue: You may experience weariness if you have a sinus infection because your body is working harder than usual to combat the infection. Sleep deprivation, respiratory problems, and headaches are additional sinus infection-related causes of weariness.

4. 5 Best Home Remedies To Treat a Sinus Infection at Home

Untreated sinus infections frequently resolve on their own. Yet there are certain things one can do at home to get rid of the annoying symptoms.

1. Onion:

One of the most well-liked treatments for sinus infections is onion. Organosulfur chemicals included in it can cause sinus mucus to be released. It also contains a flavonoid called quercetin, which has antihistamine properties.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar:

One of the easiest ways to effectively cure a sinus infection is with apple cider vinegar. It’s not just easy; it’s also incredibly successful. You’ll quickly notice that the mucus is altering in color and texture if you consume it.

3. Black Cumin:

It contains nigellone, an oil that can dissolve mucus. Moreover, it contains other advantageous oils including beta-sitosterol, palmitic acid, and stearic acid to aid with pain alleviation.

4. Garlic:

Do you want to learn more about the cheap and natural ways to treat a sinus infection? You might find the solution in garlic. It has long been used to treat conditions like colds, high blood pressure, and physical aches, and even to strengthen immunity.

5. Ginger:

The best-known use of ginger is to neutralize acidity. Yet ginger is the first thing that comes to mind while searching for a sinus infection treatment. This is because it is a common home remedy for the common cold.

Allergy medicines should not be taken long-term without first consulting a doctor because excessive use can worsen congestion.

Sinus Infection: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis - Dr. Harihara Murthy

5. Treating Sinus Infection and Medication

The root reason for the infection, which may be bacterial, viral, or fungal, will often determine the course of treatment for a sinus infection. A sinus infection frequently gets better on its own with patience and home remedies. Nonetheless, medical attention could be required if the signs and symptoms linger or get worse.

5.1. Over-the-Counter Medications

In the short term, using a nasal decongestant spray like oxymetazoline can help reduce sinus infection symptoms. But, you should only utilize it for three days at a time.

A rebound effect in nasal congestion can result from prolonged use. Remember that using a nasal spray for a longer period can worsen your symptoms if you have a sinus infection.

5.2. Nasal Irrigation

Using sterile water or a nasal solution to flush out your nostrils is known as nasal irrigation. Those who have acute sinusitis may also benefit from nasal irrigation.

Doctors advise utilizing a water filter system or boiling tap water and letting it cool down if you must use it. Using distilled water or the use of over-the-counter premixed solutions are further choices.

5.3. Antibiotics

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat acute sinusitis brought on by bacterial infections when such infections have not responded to other treatments including nasal steroid sprays, painkillers, sinus rinses, or irrigation.

“Watchful monitoring,” which entails monitoring a sinus infection to identify its etiology before giving antibiotics, is a technique that a doctor may utilize before writing a prescription. Only bacterial sinus infections can be treated with antibiotics.

By Mohamed_hassan / Pixabay Copyright 2019

6. How Are Sinus Infections and Coughing Related?

One of the many cold symptoms that are also linked to persistent sinus infections is post-nasal drip, which occurs when extra mucus drains into your throat. Yet, postnasal drip doesn’t just make you cough. In addition, it may result in a painful throat, hoarseness, nausea, and even poor breath.

But why does coughing result from postnasal drip when you have a sinus infection? Imagine mucus—or anything else, for that matter—running down your throat. Do you have a sore throat?  Do you experience any tickling? in all likelihood. All of these sensations have the potential to (and typically do) cause a response, and that response is coughing.

Sadly, the continual coughing and blowing of your nose caused by the mucus discharge will just produce more mucus and aggravation. This is why it’s critical to comprehend the most effective methods for treating postnasal drip and sinus infections.

6.1. When Do I See a Doctor for a Sinus Infection Cough?

It might be time to consult a doctor if your sinus infection persists for more than 10 days or if you have an extremely terrible postnasal drip. It may also be necessary to contact a doctor if your sinus infection cough persists for more than 2 to 3 weeks.

But if you frequently get chronic sinus infections, you might want to think about finding a more long-term cure. Balloon sinuplasty is one such therapeutic method. A minimally invasive, in-office surgery called balloon sinuplasty takes less than 25 minutes to execute. There is no need to cut or remove any bone or tissue during this safe and efficient technique.

A balloon is put into your nasal cavity during this specific treatment, and it is subsequently inflated. Your sinuses will expand as a result of this procedure, which also restores appropriate drainage for a considerable amount of time. Patients say they have long-lasting relief from sinus infections and other sinus-related problems following treatment.

6.2. How Does a Doctor Treat Sinus Infection?

Your doctor will quickly assess your symptoms in the exam room to determine whether your illness is bacterial or viral. If a bacterial infection is discovered, an antibiotic will likely be advised by your doctor.

Even if you start feeling better after a few days, make sure to take the complete dosage prescribed to you whenever you receive it. To make sure that all of the microorganisms causing your pain are eliminated and don’t resurface, take the complete dose.

If it turns out that your infection is viral, no antibiotic will be given to you. (Antibiotics only treat infections caused by bacteria.) Don’t give up though; there are still many options in your doctor’s toolkit to make you feel better. Corticosteroids and decongestants on prescription can aid with swelling and inflammation, while mucolytics can help thin up your mucus and speed up drainage.

7. Can Sinus Infections Be Prevented?

You can still develop a sinus infection even in the ideal situation. The important thing is to keep your infection from getting worse. To receive the treatment, you require before the infection spreads and worsens, you must quickly identify your symptoms.

See your primary care physician or go to an urgent care facility if, after two days, your sinus infection symptoms have not subsided. Yet, the same precautions you would take for a cold or allergies are the most effective for preventing a sinus infection:

  • Keep your distance from somebody who has a cold or another upper respiratory virus.
  • Before eating or touching your face, wash your hands after touching frequent surfaces.
  • Use a humidifier if you breathe a lot of dry air, especially inside during the winter.
  • Stop smoking if you do. Avoid being around smoke if you can. Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can irritate the lining of your nose and sinuses, which can initiate the infection-causing processes.
  • Prevent allergen triggers all year round.
  • Discuss immunotherapy, including allergy injections, with your primary care physician or allergist.

What is Sinusitis?


Clearly, a cough from a sinus infection is possible. Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull that can develop infections when they become irritated, and mucus-filled. Other symptoms including a headache, face pain, and nasal congestion can also result from this inflammation, which can also irritate the throat and make you cough.

The mucus that the body regularly produces to stave off infection thickens and stickier when the sinuses get infected, making it challenging to clear out of the sinus cavities. As mucus falls down the back of the throat and irritates it, it can cause postnasal drip, which can result in coughing.

A strong and persistent cough brought on by a sinus infection can occasionally be mistaken for pneumonia or a chest infection. In conclusion, a sinus infection can result in a cough because postnasal drip and throat irritation are both brought on by swelling and increased mucus production in the sinuses. It’s important to consult a doctor if you have a persistent cough along with other sinus infection symptoms so that you can get a proper diagnosis and course of treatment.

How is a Cold different from a Sinus

Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by