When Should I Worry About Sinus Pain?
The worst part about getting a sinus infection could be that you can feel it coming from a mile away. The pressure around your nose starts to build. Your head gets a little achy and it gets hard to think. Your nose gets a little runny. And you know–as sure as the sun rises in the morning–that tomorrow you’re going to be miserable.
Sinus infections can have a myriad of causes, though they’re usually related to fluid build up in your sinus cavities. That’s why a short cold can maliciously turn into a lengthy sinus infection. Because your ears, nose, and throat are all connected, a sinus infection can have major implications for your overall health–both in the short term and the long term.
What Is Sinusitis?
Inflammation is a normal response of the immune system. Whether your body is responding to an injury, infection, or allergens, it begins to send additional white blood cells to combat what it senses is a threat. That increased circulation will often cause inflammation in the immediate area. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus cavities. Sinusitis is common with allergies or viral or bacterial infections. Too much inflammation can cause the sinuses to become clogged. This creates a moist environment where infection can grow. If your sinus pain and pressure doesn’t clear with your other cold symptoms or lasts for months, you really need to come in for an evaluation.
What Are the Signs of a Sinus Infection?
In addition to pain and pressure around and behind the eyes, sinus infections may also have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Yellow, brown, or discolored mucus
- Sore throat from a post-nasal drip
- Jaw pain
- Bad breath
Will My Sinus Infection Clear on Its Own?
If you have sinus pressure for more than a week, or have additional symptoms of infection such as fever or discolored mucus, you should make an appointment to see us. While many sinus infections clear up on their own, left untreated, they can also spread to the ear or throat. With a quick appointment we’ll be able to determine whether you need antibiotics.
Chronic Sinus Infections and Sinusitis
If you experience sinusitis and symptoms of sinus infections for 12 weeks or more, in spite of antibiotics, you may need additional treatment. Chronic sinus infections can be related to allergies, growths, or obstructions in the sinus cavities or even persistent infections. The symptoms are very similar to acute sinus infections, but often don’t include a fever.
Chronic sinus infections can lead to permanent damage to your hearing and other health issues. Long term inflammation isn’t good for any part of your body, and your sinus ears are no exception. The longer your sinus infection goes on, the more at risk you become.
If you have persistent sinusitis or symptoms of sinus infections, call us. We can help.
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