Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Sinus Infections
With winter just around the corner at the end of the year, you should prepare for more than just giving out gifts as this is the season where getting sick is common. Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, is one of the sicknesses that are prevalent during the winter and one I’m sure we have encountered at one time or the other. A sinus infection basically is the inflammation or the swelling of the sinuses and is usually the result of the sinus openings being blocked or due to accumulation of too much mucus. It can be caused by allergies, an infection or even chemical irritation of the sinus among other causes. A sinus infection can be quite annoying, painful and uncomfortable and that is why it is important to know of its symptoms and how to proceed, especially in severe cases. In most cases, a sinus infection may actually clear on its own after a few days. However, there are certain instances where the infection could lead to serious medical complications if not attended to as soon as possible. This article will look to highlight some of the signs to look out for in cases of urgent situations concerning sinus infections as well as how to proceed if you find yourself in such a situation.
The first thing you need to establish is how long you have had the symptoms for your sinus infections. You should seek medical attention by seeing your doctor or heading over to an urgent care clinic if you have had symptoms for a sinus infection that have persisted for more than 7 to 10 days and show no signs of abating. Common symptoms that indicate that you may have a sinus infection include a headache, fatigue, post-nasal drip as well as sore throat usually results from this, a cough, nasal discharge, pain in the ear or jaw, tenderness and pain in the sinus, fever, and bad breathe among others. There are certain situations however that indicate that you need to seek emergency care for your sinus infections and it is important to know how to identify such situations. The first thing you should be wary of as far as your sinus infection is concerned is your fever. Even though a fever is par for the course when your body is fighting off an infection, such as a sinus infection, if your temperature levels are abnormally elevated, you should head over to the emergency room. A temperature reading above 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit should indicate that you require emergency care as this may be a sign that the infection has spread to other parts of your body and it may need to be controlled before sepsis sets in.
The severity of the pain is yet another thing to look out for if you have a sinus infection, one that will indicate if you require emergency care. While it is true that some level of pain and discomfort is to be expected if you have a sinus infection, if you are experiencing pain that is severe, then you should seek emergency care for your sinus infection. You should also take note if the pain seems to have spread to other parts of the body. If you notice severe pain in your eyes, ears, throat or head, then you should seek emergency care as soon as you can. This is usually a sign that your sinus infection has spread to other parts of the body such as the eye or ear in cases of severe pain in the eye and ear respectively. If the pain spreads to the head it could be a sign that the sinus infection has spread to the lining of the brain leading to meningitis which is a very serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition that should be taken seriously. You should head over to an emergency room as soon as possible in such a situation.
If you are experiencing a chronic sinus infection, then you should also ensure that you head over to an emergency room to be evaluated. A chronic sinus infection is one that lasts for four weeks or more and usually indicates that you may have a more sinister underlying issue that may be the source of the infection and that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It is also worth noting that having the infection for that long could also lead to you developing more serious infections hence why it is important to seek medical attention if you have a chronic sinus infection. You should also check for any accompanying symptoms which could also indicate that you need to seek emergency care. Some of the symptoms to look out for include difficulty breathing, seizures, abdominal pain, neck pain, a severe and unexplained rash as well as severe diarrhea or nausea and vomiting. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms to go with you sinus infection symptoms, then you should head over to the emergency room as soon as you can.
It is our hope that the above discussion will be of great help to you in knowing the urgent situations that require emergency care and medical attention as far as sinus infections are concerned so that you can be able to sidestep any unwanted consequences.