Sinus infections affect around 31 million people in the United States, and although many will only experience mild, short term symptoms, others put up with chronic, recurrent bouts of infection throughout their life. Although sinus infections are uncomfortable, they are often best treated with over-the-counter medication and rest. However,in some instances the discomfort can be so severe that individuals may wonder if a visit to the ER is necessary.
Symptoms of sinus infection
There are many symptoms of sinusitis to look out for, which may vary in severity:
- Runny nose that lasts longer than 10 days
- A drip in the back of the throat from the nose
- Tenderness around the face
- Sore throat
- Swelling around the eyes
- Pain or discomfort in the upper teeth
- Bad breath
- Low grade fever
- Loss or partial loss of sense of smell
Most of these symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter products such as nasal decongestant sprays and antihistamines until the infection passes.
When should I visit my doctor with a sinus infection?
Mild sinus infections typically last somewhere between 7 and 10 days; if symptoms persist longer than this period of time, it is usually advisable to seek treatment from a doctor who will likely prescribe antibiotics.
Since the sinuses are located deep within the bones with limited blood supply, it can take longer than usual for antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria that caused the infection. During this time, and depending on your doctor’s advice, you may continue using nasal decongestant sprays and antihistamines to manage the symptoms of sinusitis.
When should I visit the ER with a sinus infection?
Sometimes sinus blockage can occur as a symptom of another illness, such as the flu. You should head to an ER if you’re experiencing sinus pain along with any of the following serious symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Neck pain
- Severe diarrhea or nausea
- Abdominal pain
If you’re experiencing very severe sinus pain, it may be worth visiting an emergency room, such as Physicians Premier’s freestanding ER in San Antonio to receive immediate medical help. Their Doctors are all board-certified and can diagnose more serious infections if there are any, prescribe proper antibiotics, and give appropriate medications to manage your symptoms.
- Saratoga Emergency Room
- Staples Corpus Christi Emergency Room
- Ennis Joslin South Padre Island Emergency Room
- Portland Texas Emergency Room
- Calallen Texas Emergency Room
- San Antonio ER
- New Braunfels Emergency Room
San Antonio Emergency Room location: