Quick Answer: What Happens If Sinus Infection Left Untreated?

How do I know if my sinus infection is bacterial or viral?

Usually, the symptoms of a sinus infection are the same or very similar whether it’s caused by bacteria or a virus.

Common symptoms of either a viral or bacterial sinus infection include green or yellow mucous/discharge, bad breath, headache, and fever..

Can you have a sinus infection for months?

Chronic sinusitis occurs when the spaces inside your nose and head (sinuses) are swollen and inflamed for three months or longer, despite treatment. This common condition interferes with the way mucus normally drains, and makes your nose stuffy.

Do I need antibiotics for sinus infection?

Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections. Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and their side effects could still cause harm.

What is strongest antibiotic for sinus infection?

Amoxicillin (Amoxil) is acceptable for uncomplicated acute sinus infections; however, many doctors prescribe amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) as the first-line antibiotic to treat a possible bacterial infection of the sinuses. Amoxicillin usually is effective against most strains of bacteria.

How long are you contagious when you have a sinus infection?

How Long Is It Contagious? If a virus is to blame, you may have been contagious days before you got the sinus infection. Most viruses can be spread for just a few days, but sometimes you could pass it on for a week or more.

How long can a sinus infection last if not treated?

About 70 percent of the time, symptoms of acute bacterial sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics. When sinusitis symptoms last seven to 10 days or more, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to discuss treatment options.

Is mucinex good for sinus infection?

Nasal irrigation and decongestants can help in the treatment of chronic sinusitis by keeping mucus loose and nasal passages clear. The mucus-thinning agent guaifenesin (Mucinex) is another option. (Be sure to drink a full glass of water when you take it.)

When does sinusitis become serious?

A doctor can help identify the cause, so see a doctor if sinus pain or pressure lasts longer than a week or two. The most common complication of sinusitis is an infection, either in the sinuses or surrounding structures. An infection that is left untreated can spread and cause serious illness.

Can a sinus infection turn into pneumonia?

If mucus drainage is blocked, however, bacteria may start to grow. This leads to a sinus infection, or sinusitis. The most common viruses and bacteria that cause sinusitis also cause the flu and certain kinds of pneumonia.

Should I go to urgent care for sinus infection?

When to Seek Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection Most minor sinus infections get better on their own without the need for medical treatment. More severe sinus infections, however, require urgent care.

How do you know if a sinus infection has spread to your brain?

Encephalitis: This results when the infection spreads to your brain tissue. Encephalitis may not have obvious symptoms beyond a headache, fever, or weakness. But more severe cases can lead to confusion, hallucinations, seizures, difficulty speaking, paralysis, or loss consciousness.

Can a sinus infection be serious?

Most sinus infections last from a couple of days to a few weeks and are not a serious medical concern, but if left untreated, sinusitis can lead to further complications. These include nasal polyps, a deviated septum and serious allergies.

When should you go to the hospital for a sinus infection?

Call 911 immediately or go to the nearest emergency room (ER) if you have any of the following symptoms of sinus infection: Intense sweating. Horrible chills. Inability to breathe.

What is the best over the counter medicine for a sinus infection?

Sinusitis: Over-the-Counter MedicinesTry a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve facial pain and headache.Use a decongestant nasal spray, gel, or drops (such as Claritin Allergy or Drixoral) to help a stuffy nose. … Try an oral decongestant for a stuffy nose or head.More items…

What is the fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection?

Here are the top 10 at-home treatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.Flush. Use a Neti pot, a therapy that uses a salt and water solution, to flush your nasal passages. … Spray. … Hydrate. … Rest. … Steam. … Spice. … Add humidity. … OTC medication.More items…

Why is my sinus infection not going away?

It’s possible for an acute sinus infection to develop into a chronic infection over time. However, most chronic sinus infections are caused by: Problems with the physical structure of your sinuses such as nasal polyps, narrow sinuses, or a deviated septum. Allergies such as hay fever that cause inflammation.

Can you get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics?

Chronic sinusitis can last for 12 weeks or longer. Sinus infections almost always get better on their own. Antibiotics won’t help a sinus infection caused by a virus or an airborne irritation, like secondhand smoke. But there are some things you can do to try to speed up the recovery process.

Why won’t my sinus infection go away with antibiotics?

A bacterial or viral infection can also trigger the condition. The infection is often low grade. The bacteria confine themselves in stubborn “biofilms,” making it difficult for your immune system or antibiotics to find and attack them.

What is the drug of choice for sinusitis?

Antimicrobial therapy is the mainstay of medical treatment in sinusitis. The choice of antibiotics depends on whether the sinusitis is acute, chronic, or recurrent. Antibiotic efficacy rates are as follows : Levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, and amoxicillin/clavulanate – Greater than 90%

What are the stages of a sinus infection?

Acute sinusitis usually starts with cold-like symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain. It may start suddenly and last 2-4 weeks. Subacute sinusitus usually lasts 4 to 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitus symptoms last 12 weeks or longer.

How long does sinusitis last for?

How long does acute sinusitis last? Acute sinusitis lasts less than a month. Your symptoms may go away by themselves within about 10 days, but it may take up to three or four weeks.