Sinus Infections Signs and Dangers
Healthcare professionals are always referring to the dangers of complications from the flu, influenza virus. Among the most common types of infections from the flu are sinus infections. Our team at Prestige ER brings you the Sinus Infections Signs and Dangers article to help spread awareness on this preventable illness. We have all heard at one point in our lives the terms “sinusitis” or “sinus infection,” and many times, it is confused with other ailments. What does this term really refer to, and what are the warning signs and potential dangers of a sinus infection?
What is Sinusitis?
The sinuses are a system of interconnected air pockets or hollow cavities located inside the skull. When these cavities swell, the condition is known as sinusitis. Sinusitis left untreated can be dangerous, for this reason, it’s good to get to know about sinus infections signs and dangers.
Where are the Sinuses located?
There are four pairs of sinuses:
- Maxillary sinuses: The largest of the four are located on the sides of the nose (paranasal sinuses) below the cheeks and above the teeth.
- Frontal sinuses: Located in the low-center of your forehead.
- Ethmoid sinuses: Found between your eyes, near the bridge of your nose.
- Sphenoid sinuses: These can be found deep inside the skull behind the eyes.
The sinuses’ primary function is to help filter, clean, and humidify the air we breathe. The sinus cavities’ insides are lightly coated with mucus, which allows the sinuses to do their work correctly by keeping the tissue healthy and trapping bacteria.
Sinus infections occur when the sinuses become infected and, therefore, swollen and inflamed. This generally occurs after an upper respiratory illness, such as a cold, has affected the system. However, other conditions can also be responsible, including allergies, tooth infections, and nasal polyps. Sinus infections can be viral or bacterial.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
The first step to understand Sinus infections signs and dangers, is to know the symptoms of a sinus infection. Telling sinus infection apart from other ailments can prove tricky. Here are some warning signs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should look for to help recognize it.
Symptoms of a Sinus Infection:
- Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than 7-10 days.
- Nasal discharge (yellowish or green mucus)
- Nasal congestion
- Bad breath
- Sinus headache (pressure or pain around eyes, nose, forehead, or cheeks)
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
Other less common warning signs of a sinus infection include:
- Pressure and swelling in your sinuses accompanied by earaches, dental pain, or pain in jaws and cheeks.
- Cough due to the discharge from your sinus down the back of the throat (postnasal drip).
- Sore throat and hoarse voice
What Should You Do If You Get a Sinus Infection?
Sinus infections can go away on their own; however, you need to keep a close eye on your condition as with any infection.
When to See a Doctor
If the symptoms persist after ten days without improvement, then it is time to see a doctor. The specialists that treat sinus infections are ear, nose, and throat doctors, who will likely prescribe antibiotics and antihistamines after a thorough check-up.
Also, suppose a person has suffered from multiple sinus infections in the past year. In that case, this is a big warning sign and requires a visit to the physician.
If left untreated, sinus infections can lead to further complications, including eye infections or swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, meningitis, brain abscess, and bone infections.
When to Come to Prestige ER
Please visit our ER immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Vision changes.
- Feeling disoriented or confused.
- Swelling of the eyes or forehead.
- Severe headache.
- Inability to move neck forward.
At Prestige ER, we provide the most advanced emergency medical care for a range of conditions in a caring, comfortable environment. Because we know an emergency can happen at any time, our facility is open 24/7 every day of the year.
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