When to Go to the ER for Sinus Infection

When to Go to the ER

Nov 27, 2016


A sinus infection (sinusitis) comes with loads of awful and draining symptoms. Of course anyone with a sinus infection is uncomfortable, but how do you know when a sinus infection becomes a serious issue? While it is true that most sinus infections clear up on their own in a few days, if left unchecked, a sinus infection can lead to serious medical complications.

When to Go to the ER for Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

Below are some signs to watch out for that may indicate a sinus infection is more serious, and medical attention is required.

1. High Fever

Having a fever when fighting an infection, including a sinus infection, is completely normal. The elevated temperature is expected as the body burns fluids to combat the infection. What isn’t normal though, is anything over 100.5 F. Having a higher temperature may indicate that the infection has spread to other parts of the body, and you may need medication to control the infection.

2. Severe Pain

Undoubtedly with a sinus infection, there is going to be some pressure and discomfort, but if the pain gets severe, it is time to see a doctor. A sinus infection becomes very serious if there is severe pain in the eyes, throat, ears, or head. The infection can easily spread to create an eye or ear infection. The sinus infection can also spread to the lining of the brain, which becomes a very serious condition known as meningitis.

3. Chronic Sinus Infections

Typically, a sinus infection clears up in a few days to a week. When the infection lasts longer though, the sinus infection becomes serious. A sinus infection is classified as chronic once it has lasted for four weeks or longer.

Having a chronic sinus infection can mean that there is a bigger, underlying problem that may be causing the infection in the first place. Having a constant infection could also lead to more serious infections developing. If your sinus infection lasts for four weeks or longer it is time to see a doctor so the infection does not turn into something more serious.

Visit Complete Care

Even if a sinus infection has just started, it is never a bad idea it still may be necessary to seek emergency care. Complete Care has multiple ER locations across Texas, meaning an ER is always just minutes away.