Everyone at one time or another has a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, or knows someone that has a sinus infection. There are two types of sinus infections; acute and chronic.
Usually an acute sinusitis is caused by the harmless bacteria that live in most peoples upper respiratory tracts. If you catch a cold and get the sniffles and then you nose clogs up and your face hurts, then most likely the cold has gone into a sinusitis. It can last up to two weeks and responds quite nicely to medical therapy.
You may not know that the chronic form of sinusitis is the most common form. Hard to believe but estimates show that almost 40 million people will suffer with chronic sinus infection this year and it will last each of them up to 3 months and even when they think it is gone it might flare back up and last another 3 months.
Of course for both acute and chronic sinusitis the symptoms are the same:
- Facial pain
- Teeth hurt
- Bad breath
- Nasal congestion
- Hard to breath through your nose
- Tenderness and pain in the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead
- Sore throat
It is important at this point to talk about the complications of sinusitis. First off if you get a bad sinus infection you should see your doctor. He is the only one that can really tell you if everything is alright and to help you get better. The days of staying home and self medicating should be over when it comes to this illness. If left undiagnosed and untreated sinus infections can create severe medical problems and even death.
Pott’s Puffy Tumor– If you have fever, headache and soft tissue swelling over the frontal sinus you just may have this disease. Pott’s puffy tumor is a serious complication of bacterial frontal sinusitis and consists of a subperiosteal abscess and Osteomylitis of the frontal bone and can lead to death
Ethmoid sinusitis-Ethmoid sinuses are between the eye sockets and above the nose and drain into the nose. Symptoms of Ethmoiditis are: Pain inside of the eye, pain down one side of the nose, headache by eye or temple, fever, drooping eyelid, loss of eye movement, bad breath, and changes in vision, fixed or dilated pupils
Brain Infection-A sinus infection can become so bad that the infection leaks through the barrier into the brain. If you notice personality changes or altered awareness, then see a doctor immediately, because a brain infection that started out as a sinus infection is one thing that can lead to coma or death.
If you have any concerns or worries when you get a sinus infection then see your doctor. He will then have the time to diagnose the problem and get you started on the right treatment. Given that there is always the outside chance of something going badly without having treatment, what do you have to lose?