Can A Sinus Infection Cause Pink Eyes? Symptoms And Treatment

Written by Michael Bennett
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Sinus Infection Cause Pink Eyes

The sinuses are cavities in the bone that surrounds the nose and eyes, as well as in the forehead. Bacteria infection is the cause of sinusitis which leads to inflammation of sinuses. It causes swelling of the sinuses. The prevalence of sinusitis is higher in children older than ten.

Sinusitis can occur in one or four groups of sinuses: maxillary, ethmoid, frontal, or sphenoid. It’s almost always develops in association with inflammation of the nasal passages (rhinitis), with some doctors calling it rhinosinusitis.

Is pink eye common with sinus infection?

pink eye common with sinus infection

It is a common occurrence in many patients due to the close proximity between these nasal orbital orifices.

Understanding the relationship between these conditions is critical for early diagnosis and treatment, allowing patients to receive appropriate medications and prevent complications.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common pink eye infections, which is caused by bacteria that infect the eye and cause a range of symptoms including eye redness, swelling, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and swelling of the lining of your eyes. The bacteria that cause conjunctivitis or pink eye can enter the eye when you are in contact with someone with pink eye, it is highly contagious. If you touch surfaces contaminated with bacteria, you can easily pick them up. You can also get bacterial conjunctivitis through other infections such as sinusitis, pink eye, and ear infections.

Viral infections are the most common cause of pink eye. These infections can mimic sinus infections or have accompanying symptoms that affect the sinuses. Viral infections can cause watery eyes and red, painful, puffy eyes.

Link between Pink eye and sinus infection

This link is particularly related and shares common features, common cause and this condition can occur at the same time. Both conditions can be caused by the same bacteria and viruses, which means the infection in the sinuses can spread to the eyes.

In most cases, symptoms of the upper respiratory tract like runny nose or nasal congestion may be linked to red eyes. Most importantly, when this condition is caused by the same pathogens as it occurs in the sinus. Inflammation from a sinus infection can flow up the back of the throat and into the tear duct, carrying bacteria of viruses directly to the surface of the eye.

It’s common for pink eye to occur during or immediately after a sinusitis infection. Viruses and bacteria that multiply in the sinus cavities find their way into the eye, leading to infection and conjunctivitis. Individuals with persistent sinus problems may experience recurring bouts of pink eye when their sinuses flare up

What are the causes of sinusitis: how do you catch it?

Sinusitis is usually caused by bacteria infection or an infection of viral origin, but it can also be caused by allergies, nasal polyps, deviated nasal septums, dental abscesses, pressure changes or other factors. Dental infections, especially dental abscesses, can spread to neighboring maxillary sinuses, causing maxillary sinusitis (inflammation of the lining of the maxillary sinuses).

Sinusitis symptoms

Acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis have similar symptoms. To know:

  • Discharge of yellow or green pus from the nose
  • Headache
  • Pressure and pain in the face
  • Congestion and obstruction of the nose
  • Tenderness and swelling of the affected sinus
  • Diminished sense of smell (hyposmia)
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Productive cough (especially at night)
  • Certain symptoms suggest an infected sinus
  • Maxillary sinusitis causes pain in the cheeks just under the eyes, toothache and headaches.
  • Frontal sinusitis causes frontal headaches
  • Ethmoidal sinusitis causes pain behind and between the eyes and frontal headaches (often described as excruciating) in the forehead.
  • The pain produced by sphenoid sinusitis it’s not localized in a perfectly defined area and can be felt in the frontal region or the posterior part of the head
  • People may also feel general discomfort. Additionally, fever and chills may appear, but their existence may suggest spread of the infection beyond the sinuses

Treatment of sinusitis

  • Treatment to improve sinus drainage
  • Medicated nasal spray
  • Sometimes antibiotics
  • The goal of treatment for acute sinusitis is to improve sinus drainage and eliminate the infection
  • Steam inhalation, warm wet towel over the affected sinuses, and hot drinks can help soothe swollen membranes and promote drainage. Irrigating the nose with saline (nasal irrigation) or using a saline spray may help relieve symptoms
  • Nasal sprays, such as phenylephrine or oxymetazoline, which shrink swollen membranes, may be used for a limited time.
  • Similar products, such as pseudoephedrine, taken by mouth, are not as effective
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays can help relieve symptoms but take at least 10 days to work


For severe (at least 3 days of symptoms, such as fever of 39° C or more and severe pain) or persistent (for at least 10 days) acute sinusitis, antibiotics, such as amoxicillin/clavulanic acid or doxycycline, are prescribed.

People with chronic sinusitis take the same antibiotics but for a longer period of time (usually 4 to 6 weeks)


When antibiotics are not effective, surgery may be indicated to clean the sinuses, take samples for culture, or improve sinus drainage, which helps treat inflammation. A nasal obstruction that disrupts flow may also require surgery.

The duration of sinusitis depends on the cause and severity of the inflammation. Acute sinusitis can last from a few days to a few weeks. If left untreated, acute sinusitis can progress to chronic sinusitis, which can last for several months or even years. Chronic sinusitis can be difficult to treat and may require long-term management.

Also Read: How To Qualify For Eyelid Surgery? A Comprehensive Guide!


In conclusion, allergic fungal sinusitis is a chronic sinusitis in which a fungus causes an allergic reaction characterized by marked nasal congestion and the formation of polyps in the nose and sinuses. Polyps block the nose and sinus openings, leading to chronic inflammation. 

Usually, surgery is required to open the sinuses and remove fungal debris. Long-term treatment is also necessary. It consists of administering corticosteroids, antibiotics, sometimes antifungals, which are applied directly to the affected area or taking orally. These medications reduce inflammation and eliminate the fungus. However, even after prolonged treatment, the disorder often tends to recur

Written by

Michael Bennett

Dr. Michael Bennett is a board-certified ophthalmologist with over 15 years of experience performing eye surgery and treating diseases of the eye. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Bennett stays up-to-date on the latest advancements in eye care by regularly attending ophthalmology conferences and taking continuing education courses. He has performed thousands of cataract surgeries, LASIK procedures, and eyelid surgeries.

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