Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What Happens If A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated

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Accurate Sinus Diagnosis And Treatments Is Essential

What happens if you let a sinus infection go untreated? – Dr. Gaurav Medikeri S

The only way to stop recurring sinus infections once and for all is to have an evaluation by a specialist who has the specialized training and experience to accurately diagnose their cause. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, we can discuss the options. The goal is always to provide the patient with all the available options, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help you find the best treatment plan for you.

H2o: A Natural Alternative To Sinus Infection Antibiotics

One of the most powerful solvents on earth is nothing more than pure water. Water is used in many applications as a thinner, cleaner, and diluter. When it comes to a sinus infection, water can be used in much the same way to thin mucus, clean the sinuses, and dilute a blockage, which is one of the major sinus infection vs cold benefits. Getting rid of your sinus infection may involve the use of liquid, mist, or vaporized water.

Complications Of An Untreated Sinus Infection

A mild case of acute sinusitis can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and natural remedies like nasal irrigation, decongestants, steam inhalation, rest and plenty of fluids. Sinus infections that linger for weeks or months can require more intense treatment. Antibiotics and medication directed at the sinus inflammation may return normal sinus function. Surgery can be an option in cases of recurrent acute sinusitis or chronic sinus infections.

Most sinus infections will resolve in a week or two. However, there are rare cases of serious and potentially life-threatening complications that may arise. Knowing what the signs and symptoms of these complications can keep a complication from becoming a catastrophe.

The thin sinus walls share a border with the surrounding tissue including the eyes, brain and major nerves and blood vessels. A sinus infection can sometimes spread beyond the border of the sinuses. Read below about the potential rare consequences of an untreated sinus infection.

In rare situations, the failure to treat a sinus infection can lead to a serious complication.

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A Brief Explanation Of The Sinuses And Sinus Congestion

In order to understand how to clear the sinuses, it is necessary to have a grasp of what exactly the sinuses are, and what is happening when they become congested.

The sinuses are a series of small air cavities in the skull, located within the cheek bones, behind the nose and in the forehead. They are connected to the throat and nasal passages and represent the uppermost components of the respiratory tract.

Sometimes, these cavities can become inflamed and filled with mucus and cause sinus congestion. There are many different things which can cause this to happen, and the medicinal treatments will vary depending on the specific cause. Some of the most common diseases and environmental factors which can cause sinus congestion include:

  • The common cold
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergens and dust particles

Regardless of what is causing it, the symptoms of sinus congestion will usually be the same: uncomfortable pressure in the sinus cavities, headaches, and difficulty breathing linked to the inflammation and mucus buildup.

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How Should I Treat My Sinus Infection

What happens if you let a sinus infection go untreated?

A mild, one-time infection should be handled much differently than a sinus infection that wonât go away or keeps coming back. But, even mild infections can become more serious as time goes on, and for the best results, they should be monitored and treated by an ENT. A minor sinus infection treatment may consist of:

  • At home remedies: Many are searching for ânatural cures for sinus infectionâ. At home remedies are often not successful at getting to the root of the problem, but they may be helpful in easing the severity of your symptoms. Sufferers have found that warm compresses and humidifiers are very helpful.
  • Antibiotics: Sinus infection antibiotics can only be successful when patients are suffering with a bacterial infection. In order to understand what kind of infection you may have, it is important to contact your ENT so they can prescribe you antibiotics when appropriate.
  • Sinus Medication: Sinus infection medication may consist of nasal sprays, decongestants, and more. They are helpful to ease the symptoms but are not a long-term solution to chronic sinusitis.

For more severe infections, or chronic sinusitis, many sufferers have tried at home remedies, antibiotics and infection medications with no luck. When this is the case, patients may have to turn to more permanent solutions:

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What Is A Sinus Problem

When you have sinusitis, you either have a viral or a bacterial infection. The term sinusitis refers to an inflammation or irritation in your sinuses, which is the lining around the bones that surround your nose.

With a viral infection, symptoms usually subside on their own. But if the condition persists for more than 10 days, then its a bacterial infection that likely requires antibiotics to get better.

Constant Sinus Infections: What Do I Do

Millions of people around the world may find themselves asking this question over and over again. You have a sinus infection and use nasal sprays or other medication to relieve your symptoms until it subsides, only to be disappointed when it comes right back after just a week or two of relief. This painful pattern can turn your everyday life into absolute misery and make even the simplest of things feel difficult and tiring.

Sinus pressure and pain leads to headaches, congestion that makes it difficult to breathe, and sleepless nights. These are just a few of the painful outcomes that recurring sinus infections may bring to its most severe sufferers. Not only does sinus pain make you feel terrible, reduce productivity, and make you miss out on lifeâs biggest moments, it can also contribute to other serious health problems. Sinus pain should not come and go as it pleases, it’s time to take back control from your sinuses.

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Sinus Infection Symptoms And Complications

Sinus problems mostly occur as a result of a viral infection. Some of the common symptoms of sinus infection include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue

The symptoms also depend upon the sinus which is infected. These symptoms become severe if the infection is not treated at the right time. Here are the most common symptoms, which a person may experience if the infection is not treated in time.

Frontal SinusitisFrontal sinusitis can cause pain in the forehead which worsens when a person lies down. If left untreated, it may lead to osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis is the infection of the facial and forehead bones. In such a condition, the person experiences fever, headache and an inflammation of the bone called Potts puffy tumor.

Maxillary SinusitisThis causes pain in the cheekbone, around the eyes, in the upper teeth and jaws. The pain can be felt either on one side or on both the sides. If left untreated, an infection in the maxillary sinuses can lead to the formation of blood clots, in rare cases. If a blood clot forms in the sinus area, the eye pupil may become dilated and fixed. The symptoms of maxillary sinusitis are fever, nasal congestion, cough, runny nose, toothache, headache and facial swelling and pain around the cheeks. These symptoms may worsen with time if the infection is not treated.

Besides these complications which occur due to an infection in a particular sinus, other complications that may arise due to an untreated sinus infection are as follows:

Dont Increase Or Skip Your Medication Doses

Dr. Qasim Husain: Signs That a Sinus Infection May Be Dangerous

Never try to adjust your diabetes insulin or medication without the advice of your doctor. If you face irregularly high or low sugar levels instead of self-medication, you should call your doctor. Follow the advice of your doctor to control the blood sugar level of your blood.

If you feel sick, check your blood sugar level more often. If you continuously have a high blood sugar level, check your ketones level, and you can do it with a urine strip test.

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When To Go To A Doctor For A Sinus Infection

An untreated sinus infection can turn into a chronic infection, so its important to see the doctor if your symptoms arent improving on their own. We recommend making an appointment with your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms havent improved after two days of at-home treatment
  • You have cold symptoms that last for 10 days
  • You have a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Youre experiencing severe pain in the upper part of your face or your teeth
  • You have facial pain from the bridge of your nose to your lower eyelid
  • You notice thick and discolored mucus
  • You have mild face pain for a month or longer

Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip

When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.

The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.

This is called postnasal drip, and it may cause you to cough at night when youre lying down to sleep, and in the morning after getting up. It may also cause your voice to sound hoarse.

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Common Symptoms And Signs Of Sinus Infections

Signs and symptoms of sinus infections depend upon the sinuses that are affected, and whether the sinus infection is acute or chronic.

Common Sinus Infection Symptoms and Signs

  • Stuffy nose or congestion
  • Sneezing
  • 5 Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

    Chronic sinusitis may have many of the same symptoms as acute sinusitis, but the symptoms last longer or are more severe. In addition, people with chronic sinusitis may also experience multiple symptoms, for example:

  • Pain that is worse in the late morning or when wearing glasses
  • Pain and pressure in the face worsens when leaning forward
  • Chronic sore throat and bad breath
  • Chronic toothache or increased tooth sensitivity
  • Increased facial discomfort throughout the day with an increased cough at night
  • What The Treatment For Sinus Infections

    What Happens If A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated?

    In order to eradicate the infection, youll need an antibiotic.

    Some people continue to experience a lingering sinus infection even after antibiotics. Sinuses are considered a closed cavity. Removing infection from a closed cavity can require more prolonged antibiotic usage compared to infections that occur in an open cavity .

    A sinus infection might require 2-4 weeks of antibiotics plus additional methods to encourage drainage of the sinuses. For a sinus infection to clear completely, we often recommend saline sprays, topical steroid sprays , and decongestants in addition to an antibiotic.

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    What Happens If A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated

    Dealing with sinusitis can be challenging. You may find it difficult to sleep, exercise, and eat due to nasal congestion. Sinus headaches, tooth pain, and fatigue only make things worse. These symptoms occur when fluid builds up in the hollow spaces between your eyes, in your forehead, and behind your cheekbones, causing an infection. Individuals with a deviated septum, allergic rhinitis, or nasal polyps are more likely to get sinusitis, notes WebMD. It’s estimated that around 35 million Americans develop this condition at least once a year.

    Acute sinusitis lasts anywhere between two and four weeks, according to WebMD. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, can last longer than 12 weeks. Some people are diagnosed with subacute sinusitis, which lasts up to three months. Acute sinusitis often goes away on its own, notes the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai . In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics, corticosteroids, or allergy shots. Fungal infections of the sinuses generally require surgery.

    Most cases of sinusitis can be managed with medications and self-care measures, such as steam inhalation, says ISMMS. However, it’s possible to experience complications. If left untreated, sinusitis can spread to your brain or bones, warns WebMD.

    What Medications Are Used To Treat Sinus Infections


    First and foremost, if you are suffering from an active bacterial sinus infection you may be treated with antibiotics. Depending on whether you have acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis will determine your course of therapy.As acute sinusitis may require 10 -14 days of antibiotic therapy chronic sinusitis may need to be treated for up to 30 days with medication.Remember Most cases of sinusitis are caused by viruses such as the common cold and will clear up within 10 or so days. In this case, antibiotics will not be helpful as antibiotics kill bacteria not viruses. Based upon your symptoms, medical history and physical examination your doctor will help determine if antibiotics are necessary.

    Pain Medication:

    Sinus headaches hurt. Sometimes the pain and pressure can make basic everyday activities impossible to do. So many times those suffering from sinusitis will take an over the counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen . Make sure to follow the labeled directions and see your doctor if your symptoms havent improved after a week or if they worsen.

    Aerosolized antibiotics, steroids and antifugal treatments:

    These may be administered through an aerosol or a nasal rinse. Frequently a compounding pharmacy is required to create this rinse.


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    How Do You Know When A Yeast Infection Is Gone

    Once your symptoms resolve and youve completed the duration of your treatment, your yeast infection has cleared. If your symptoms resolve before you complete the full course of treatment, keep using the medication until you have finished it as directed.

    If your symptoms persist, or if youre worried about the yeast infection recurring, talk to your doctor.

    Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses

    Dr. Bouknight Discusses Untreated Sinus Disease

    Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.

    Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.

    You may feel pain in:

    • your forehead
    • on either side of your nose
    • in your upper jaws and teeth
    • between your eyes

    This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.

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    Will Sinus Infections Resolve If Left Untreated

    Lingering sinus infections should be treated before they escalate into a more serious issue. If a sinus infection is untreated, it may begin to impact the surrounding areas: the eyes and brain.

    Untreated sinus infections can result in orbital and intracranial complications. Orbital refers to an infection that moves from the sinus into the eye. It can even result in an abscess in the eye area, which threatens vision.

    Intracranial infections refer to infection in the brain. These can ultimately progress to become a brain abscess or meningitis if left untreated.

    Because the sinuses are located close to the eye and brain, the most serious complications of an untreated sinus infection affect these important structures.

    Determining If Its A Viral Or Bacterial Infection

    Though all sinus infections may feel the same theyre not all caused by the same thing. Sinusitis is either caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

    If your infection is caused by a virus, itll typically clear up on its own within two to three weeks. To potentially speed up your recovery time, we suggest patients get plenty of water and rest. If your infection is bacterial, then you may benefit from antibiotics.

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    What Happens If You Let A Sinus Infection Go Untreated

    A sinus infection might start with annoying, inconvenient symptoms: congestion, discomfort, and sinus pressure. But dont assume these symptoms will go away on their own.

    If left untreated, sinus infections can result in ongoing pain and discomfort that lasts for months. Sometimes, an untreated sinus infection can lead to serious complications that could have been prevented with early interventions.

    The key to avoiding severe complications from an untreated sinus infection is to talk to an ENT as soon as possible. When you can see that the symptoms are lingering, then it might be time to book an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

    What Happens When A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated

    What Happens If A Sinus Infection Goes Untreated?

    Although it may seem like it, your sinuses are not just contributing to your infections. They have many other functions like regulating air temperature, producing mucus to fight infections, and assist in communication. The sinuses are very important to your overall health and contribute to many different bodily functions.

    Many sufferers are able to let their body clear up the infection on its own. They can suffer through their symptoms for a few days or even a week with only over-the-counter medication and feel better fairly soon. When sinus infections wonât seem to go away or continue to return, there may be a more serious problem going on. These particularly painful infections are known as chronic sinusitis and they need more attention and care than just over-the-counter medications.

    Frequent sinus infections have been known to take a toll on all aspects of sufferersâ lives. When headaches, congestion, fatigue, facial pain, bad breath and much more continue, it can contribute to other serious issues such as:

    • Relationship problems
    • And much more

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    Does A Sinus Infection Cause Fever

    If youre trying to self-diagnose your symptoms, you might find yourself asking, does a sinus infection cause fever?

    A fever is a common response to any type of infection in the body, including a sinus infection, but typically only if you have acute sinusitis. Sinusitis fever isnt a common symptom of chronic sinus infections.

    Read more to learn about other sinus infection symptoms, what is considered a fever, how to tell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection, and why you shouldnt leave your chronic sinusitis untreated.

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