Acute frontal sinusitis

There are various causes for acute frontal sinusitis that you should be familiar with. The frontal sinuses are described as a pair of small-sized, air-filled cavities positioned right behind the eyes in the brow area which produce a thin mucus that drains via the nasal passages.

If there is production of excess mucus or inflammation of the frontal sinuses, it prevents the mucus from properly draining, thus resulting to acute frontal sinusitis.

What are the causes?

The main reason of acute frontal sinusitis is the accumulation of mucus due to inflammation of the sinus. Various factors can affect the amount of mucus being generated and the ability of the frontal sinus to drain the mucus.

  • Viruses such as the common cold virus is the usual cause. Having the cold or flu virus increases the amount of mucus produced by the sinuses, thus making them more likely to clog up and become swollen.
  • Bacteria are still capable of entering the nose and go up to the sinus cavities. An infection is likely to occur after a viral infection since it is easier for the bacteria to thrive in the mucus-rich environment.
  • Nasal polyps are abnormal growths that can block the sinuses from filtering air and increase the build-up of mucus
  • A deviated septum will not allow the individual to breathe equally on both sides of the nose. Poor circulation of air can lead to inflammation if the tissues of the frontal sinuses are involved.

Who are at risk?

The following increases the risk for an individual to develop acute frontal sinusitis:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Frequent colds
    Acute frontal sinusitis

    The usual symptom of acute frontal sinusitis is facial pain that surrounds the eyes or the forehead.

  • Fungal infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Swollen adenoids
  • Structural variances in the sinus cavities that affect normal drainage

What are the indications of acute frontal sinusitis?

The usual symptom of acute frontal sinusitis is facial pain that surrounds the eyes or the forehead. The other symptoms tend to vary in severity depending on the type of inflammation or infection such as the following:

  • Nasal drainage
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling of pressure behind the eyes
  • Inability to smell
  • Feel unwell or malaise
  • Cough that worsens during night time
  • Mild or high fever
  • Sore throat
  • Sour or unpleasant breath

Among children, they may have all of these symptoms along with the following:

  • High fever
  • Cold that becomes worse
  • Drainage that is unusual in color


The treatment is based on whether the condition was triggered bacteria, polyps or other factors.

Since most cases are due to a viral infection, the doctor might prescribe a nasal spray or decongestant to promote drainage of the mucus as well as alleviate pressure in the frontal sinuses.

An over-the-counter pain medication can be used to deal with the symptoms. Nevertheless, children should not be given aspirin since it can cause Reye’s syndrome.

In case the symptoms do not seem to improve within 7-10 days, the cause might be bacterial. In such cases, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. When a deviated septum is the cause, surgery is often recommended.