Sinus Infection Help

Complications of Sinus Infection

It is uncommon to have complications of sinus infection. But some complications may be serious enough to warrant immediate medical treatment.

Generally, people can usually recover from sinus infection either with or without medication.

But for a small group of people such as those with a compromised or weakened immune system, complications due to sinus infection may result.

If a person having been diagnosed with sinus infection and on medication for 2 weeks or more does not show any signs of improvement, prompt medical attention is required when the following symptoms appear:

1. Swelling around the eyes.

2. A headache which gets worse.

3. Nausea.

4. Vomiting.

5. Stiff neck.

6. Double vision.

Strangely, complications of sinus infection occur mostly to someone who has no previous episodes of sinusitis. Somehow a person suffering from chronic sinus infection has some degree of protection from likely complications.

What are the likely complications of a sinus infection?

1. Anosmia (Loss of the ability to smell)

If a sinus infection is allowed to worsen, the mucosal lining of the sinuses are constantly inflamed which can also damage the olfactory nerve endings that is located high within the nose. This can result in permanent reduction in the loss of smell or even a complete loss of this sense.

2. Meningitis

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis include high fever and headache. These are also the symptoms of influenza. However, in addition to these symptoms, meningitis also causes vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, skin rashes, sensitivity to light and small haemorrhages under the skin. Meningitis caused by sinus infection is normally non-infectious. But it can be deadly as at least 10 percent of cases result in fatality. Usually children and adolescents are most at risk.

3. Orbital Cellulitis

Orbital cellulitis is often caused when sinus infection spreads into the tissues surrounding the eye socket. Symptoms would include very swollen eyelids which could impair vision.

At times, when the infection is pronounced, the eyeball protrudes out. Movement of the eyeball may be difficult and painful.

Treatment for this condition frequently involves emergency treatment with the stronger classes of antibiotics.

4. Sinus Mucoceles

Sinus mucoceles are benign locally expansive fluid-filled masses of the paranasal sinuses. The frontal and ethmoid sinuses are usually affected. Mucoceles could erode the surrounding structure of the sinuses causing bone destruction close to the eye or brain. If these sinus mucoceles become infected, they can grow very quickly leading to symptoms such as headaches and orbital pain. Computed tomography (CT Scan) is often used to diagnose the disease.

5. Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are usually prescribed for bacterial sinus infections. Most people, when they feel better, do not usually complete the full course of antibiotics prescribed. As such, over the years, some types of bacteria have mutated and have become resistant to some of the stronger types of antibiotics.

As a precaution, it may be better to avoid taking antibiotics too often as our body’s immune system may become accustomed to and over-dependent on them when an infection strikes. You may consider adopting some home remedies for sinus infection which have proven effective. Thankfully, it is not often that you will encounter complications of a sinus infection. But remember that it can happen to you too, sometimes unexpectedly.