Stuffy nose, problems with breathing, pain in your forehead or behind your eyes, never-ending mucus, and a growing pile of tissues next to your bed. If you have ever experienced it, it means that you have most likely suffered from sinusitis. The good news is that it is treatable and doesn’t require any costly therapies. Home remedies are often enough to fight this condition. Nonetheless, this seemingly harmless issue, when neglected, may lead to some very serious health problems. In today’s article, we explain what the possible complications of an untreated sinus infection are and how to avoid them.
What is sinusitis?
Sinuses are air cavities in the cranial bones. Every human being has four pairs of them; depending on their location, they have different names: frontal, ethmoid (between the eyes), maxillary (in the cheekbones), and sphenoid (behind your nose). Certain types of bacteria, viruses, allergens, or air pollution may infect the sinus cavity and cause inflammation. Inflamed sinuses swell and are no longer capable of properly draining mucus, which results in mucus buildup and nasal congestion. At our walk-in clinic in Palm Beach County, we help patients with both acute and chronic sinusitis. The former condition usually resolves itself, so we only recommend our patients take pain relief medications. The latter one, however, may require an antibiotic.
Why shouldn’t you neglect sinusitis?
It may seem that sinusitis belongs to a group of uncomplicated medical conditions, but that can be misleading. Left untreated, it may cause potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind that the worst sinus infections may extend outside the sinus walls, which border major nerves, the eyes, and the brain. We list several possible complications that can result from untreated sinusitis.
1. Eye infection
Sinuses are located close to the eyes. If the infection spreads to the eye socket, it may cause swelling, vision changes, pus collection or even blindness. Children are especially vulnerable to eye infections as a complication of sinusitis. Their facial bones are still developing and the openings between the sinuses and the eye socket are not yet closed.
2. Brain Infection
In rare cases when the infection keeps spreading through the skull and reaches the brain and spinal fluid, it may lead to meningitis, seizures, permanent brain damage or even death. It is important to immediately contact your physician if you experience headaches, nausea, or fever or if you have lost functioning in any of your body parts as those are the symptoms of meningitis, which requires an urgent antibiotic treatment.
A mucocele is an excessive amount of mucus that has been collecting and expanding in the sinus. They may appear in any of the sinus cavities; however, they tend to occur mostly in the frontal and ethmoid sinuses. Since the pressure from mucoceles may extend to the surrounding structures like the eye or brain, surgical drainage is necessary in many cases.
Osteomyelitis, or a bone infection, is an uncommon, yet serious complication. It occurs when the sinus infection spreads to the bone surrounding the sinus. The treatment of this condition is long and involves intravenous antibiotics which stop the infection from spreading more. In chronic osteomyelitis, a surgery that removes the infected bones is required.
Home remedies recommended at our walk in clinic in Palm Beach County
We always encourage anyone who suffers from sinusitis to visit our walk in clinic in Palm Beach County to get proper treatment and rule out the possibility of developing any of the severe complications. Nonetheless, there are many effective and natural ways to avoid sinusitis. Try flushing nasal passages with saline, taking a hot and steamy shower, drinking a lot of water, using a humidifier, or putting a warm compress on the forehead before taking antibiotics. Many cases of sinusitis are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and they should be treated without antibiotics.
Our walk-in clinic in Palm Beach knows how to treat your nose!
If you’ve been suffering from sinusitis, don’t let it bother you anymore. Visit our walk in clinic in Palm Beach today! We will help to open your sinus passages and relieve the pressure that has been contributing to your headaches and other symptoms. Why would you suffer even one more day? Don’t hesitate and contact us today. For your convenience, we are open seven days per week!
This article was written on behalf of the practice by RedCastle Services. RedCastle specializes in Online Marketing for Doctors, including Medical SEO, SEO for doctors, and Medical Website Design. Contact RedCastle Services today to find out how we can help your practice increase its number of online patient referrals.