Sinusitis is a common condition, affecting approximately 30% of the population1. It is more prevalent in adults but can also occur in infants and children1.

Common symptoms:

Sinusitis is described as swelling or inflammation of the sinuses2; the air-filled cavities located inside the bones of the skull on either side of the nose, behind and between the eyes and in the forehead2. It is usually caused by an infection and is quite common after a cold or flu1.

Some of the common symptoms of sinusitis include pain, swelling and tenderness around the cheeks, eyes and forehead; a blocked nose; reduced sense of smell; green or yellow mucus from the nose; a headache; high temperature, toothache and bad breath1.

Cough symptoms:

Another common symptom of sinusitis is cough1. Frequent sinus infections can cause post-nasal drip, where mucus drains down the back of the throat, tickling the throat and the nerves of the nasopharynx4 (the space above the soft palate at the back of the nose, which connects the nose to the mouth5) to cause a chronic cough 3. Coughing from a sinus infection gets worse at night and in the morning, when the mucus drains down the back of the throat7.

A chronic cough is defined as a cough that lasts more than 8 weeks8. It is rated as one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor4. In fact, studies have shown that one-third of chronic cough patients have sinusitis6. Coughing from a sinus infection will often manifest as a dry irritating cough 3,8,9,10. A “productive” or wet cough, which can sometimes even be mistaken for bronchitis7, can occur when the post nasal drip persists and the mucus pools in the lungs9.


Ideally treatment for sinusitis following a correct diagnosis6 involves controlling the source of sinus infection, re-establishing proper nasal drainage, and relieving pain1. Using a cough suppressant or nasal decongestant can alleviate symptoms of a dry cough10, 11. A mucolytic can be useful for a wet cough when mucus or phlegm is thick and sticky, as it thins the mucus, making it easier to cough it up8. Home remedies can also include drinking plenty of fluids and using a humidifier2.

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been commissioned and brought to you by iNova Pharmaceuticals. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice.

Name and business address of applicant: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Limited. Co. Reg. No.1952/001640/07, 15E Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000. Further information is available on request from iNova Pharmaceuticals. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions regarding your symptoms or to determine the most suitable treatment for your type of cough or infection. IN3028/18


  1. Sinusitis – Health 24 21 July 2012 ( Website accessed on 21 November 2018
  2. Sinusitis (sinus infection) – NHS. 19 December 2017 ( Website accessed on 21 November 2018
  3. Cleveland Clinic – Chronic Cough Overview ( Website accessed on 21 November 2018
  4. Harvard Health Publishing – That nagging cough ( Website accessed on 21 September 2018.
  5. Healthline – Nasopharynx ( Website accessed on 21 September 2018.
  6. Science Daily – Sinusitis Is Common Yet Often Overlooked Cause Of Chronic Cough ( Website accessed on 21 November 2018
  7. com – 10 Sinus Infection Symptoms (,,20468529,00.html?slide=71580#71580) Website accessed on 21 November 2018
  8. Van Schoor J. An approach to recommending cough mixtures in pharmacy. S Afr Pharm J 2012; 79(6):30-33.
  9. Cough treatment. Specialist Forum 2017;17(6): 28-30
  10. Truter I. Cough. Evidence Based Pharmacy Practice. SA Pharm J 2007;74(4):20-27.
  11. Product prescribing information. Available on request.