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
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
1. Swelling around the eyes.
2. A headache which gets worse.
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
1. Anosmia (Loss of the ability to
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.
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
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
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.