Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is a major health concern that affects 31 million people in the United States. And it’s responsible for 16 million doctor’s visits and over $150 million spent every year on prescription medications.
So, it’s a fairly common problem. At the offices of Terry Baker MD in Idaho Falls, Idaho, your health is our greatest priority, and that’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to the warning signs of a sinus problem, so you know when you need to see us for help.
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 it’s a bacterial infection that likely requires antibiotics to get better.
The warning signs of a sinus problem
There are a few signs and symptoms that indicate you have a sinus infection. These can include:
- Headache (especially in the front)
- Facial pain
- Tooth pain
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Bad breath
- Discolored nasal discharge (green in color)
Also, keep in mind that there are certain factors that place you at an increased risk for developing sinus infections, including the following conditions:
- Nasal polyps
- Structural problems in the nose
- A weakened immune system
And remember that a bad cold can often be mistaken for a sinus infection, so be sure to see us if you experience the above symptoms, especially if you have one of the listed conditions.
Leaving sinus infections untreated
Leaving a sinus infection untreated can cause the problem to progress with dangerous consequences. In severe cases, leaving sinusitis untreated can cause it to progress to your eyes or even to your brain. Once this happens, you could develop conditions like blindness, meningitis, or brain abscesses.
In the worst case, leaving an infection untreated, can lead to hospitalization, a CT scan, IV antibiotics, and the draining of fluid that can collect in your sinuses.
So, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and let us know right away if you begin to have problems. If the condition persists or worsens, call us right away.
Don’t let a simple sinus infection go untreated until it turns into a serious health problem. Take charge of your health and call us to make an appointment today.