Sinusitis is simply the medical term for a sinus infection. If you have a sinus infection, it means your sinuses (the lining around the air pockets between the many bones in your nose) are irritated. Often, sinusitis will “go away” on its own, however, there are cases in which untreated sinus infections have become serious.
Determining if it’s a Viral or Bacterial Infection
Though all sinus infections may feel the same (congestion, stuffy nose, ear pain, etc.) they’re not all caused by the same thing. Sinusitis is either caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
If your infection is caused by a virus, it’ll typically clear up on its own within two to three weeks. To potentially speed up your recovery time, we suggest patients get plenty of water and rest. If your infection is bacterial, then you may benefit from antibiotics.
When Sinusitis is Left Untreated
So long as you’re not in any pain or serious discomfort, we suggest patients wait roughly one week before seeing a specialist about their symptoms. If you have acute sinusitis or a cold, your symptoms will typically begin to subside during this time period. But if you’re still feeling ill after a week of rest and fluids, you should reach out to a trained specialist.
If left untreated, sinusitis (especially a case caused by bacteria) can have serious effects on your health. Antibiotics not only relieve your symptoms, but they help ward off potential long-term complications within your ears, eyes, and nose.
Schedule your same-day appointment with Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today! Our team of board-certified allergy specialists will discuss your options and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Contact us at (404) 994-3574 or visit us online to book your appointment.