Sinus infections are a fairly routine infection that most people will experience. Generally, there are no major complications or effects, the infection either subsides on its own or goes away with antibiotic treatment. However, what happens if you let a sinus infection go untreated? Dr. Santos discusses the risk of not adequately addressing a sinus infection.

Viruses cause the vast majority of sinus infections which means that most will clear up within about two weeks. If a sinus infection lasts longer, it may require antibiotics. A viral infection–if left untreated–will likely not cause too much harm. Though, if you are susceptible to sinus infections, you may end up experiencing recurrent infections or chronic sinusitis eventually.

A bacterial or fungal sinus infection, if not treated properly, can become more dangerous. In the best case scenario, a patient will only experience a temporary or permanent loss of smell and have difficulty breathing. If it goes beyond this, it can lead to major infections or abscesses of the brain or other nearby structures. Possible serious conditions that an untreated sinus infection can include:

  • Meningitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Inflammation of the tear ducts
  • Eye socket infection
  • Sinus thrombosis
  • Brain abscess

While not all of the above conditions are life threatening, some can be. If a sinus infection lasts longer than two weeks, you should consult a medical professional. To learn more, call us at 206-242-3696. You can also reach out online via our contact form.