What Causes Burning Sinuses?

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The sinuses experience a burning sensation when the nasal passages sinuses are inflamed and swollen. According to the Mayo Clinic, this condition is usually caused by the common cold, but it can also be the result of bacterial and fungal infections.

Burning sinuses are often referred to in the medical community as acute sinusitis, or by the more scientific name of acute rhinosinusitis. When the nasal passages are inflamed and swollen, it can sometimes become difficult to breathe and drainage is affected. A person’s head and face may begin to throb, and her eyes may feel swollen. This is because the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and sinus cavities are extra sensitive due to inflammation. The pain specifically comes from the fact that mucus is not allowed to drain like normal, and thus builds up and creates pressure, reports Mayo Clinic.

The inflammation that leads to burning sinuses is usually caused by a viral infection, but if the sinus tract is infected for longer than 10 days, it is most likely because of a bacterial infection, states Mayo Clinic. Another potential cause for burning sinuses is a fungal infection. This usually occurs in people who have abnormal sinuses or who have a suppressed or weakened immune system.