Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
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When To Contact A Doctor
People who think they have had a migraine headache for the first time should contact a doctor. It is important to treat the condition as soon as possible, and a doctor can help a person learn the warning signs of migraine and know when to take medications.
If a person thinks their symptoms result from mild hypoglycemia, they can try eating a carbohydrate-rich snack. People experiencing signs of moderate or severely low blood sugar should contact a doctor.
Anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of a stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning, or TBI should also contact a doctor right away.
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Orbital Abscess Subperiosteal Abscess
Abscesses, or pockets of pus, around the eye caused by bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections in the sinuses or eyes can be opened and drained through the nose using an endoscope and minimally invasive surgical instrumentation. The natural nasal opening allows surgeons to address these vision-threatening diseases with simple, minimally invasive approaches, which eliminate disfiguring scars.
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Reviewed on 8/31/2020
Eye problems are common symptoms of upper respiratory conditions including allergic reactions like hay fever or reactions to indoor allergens. Conditions that cause sinus infections may also affect the eyes. If these symptoms do not go away or you are concerned, seek the advice of your doctor.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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Can Having A Cold Cause Blurry Vision
Cold season seems like its always right around the corner. When those symptoms hit you, it’s no secret that you just don’t feel your best–which can affect your productivity, mood and stamina. Depending on how severe the strain of the virus is, a cold virus can affect your health in more ways than just a runny nose. This can include symptoms likeswollen nasal passages, headaches, sometemporary hearing loss, muscle aches and even impacted visiondue to sinus pressure!
Adenovirusesare responsible for common head colds and tend to attack the sensitive areas in our upper body. This includes the sinuses, front of the throat, and even the eyes ! Once infected, these areas can become irritated, inflamed, swollen and subject to pressures caused by congestion.
Sometimes an infection can develop into pink eye which is often called, “a cold in the eye.” Considering the virus that causes this is the same that causes a cold, its not surprising that they share similar symptoms. Symptoms include red/watery eyes, discharge, and swollen eye lids. Blurred vision is uncommon but can certainly happen because of these factors. When the infection spreads into the eye, blurry visionmay result as well as seeing halos around lights in some cases.
Fight off colds as best you can by washing your hands oftenand getting lots of vitamin C!
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Sinus Infection Complications Affecting The Brain
An even more rare, and more serious, complication of sinus infection would be the infection spreading to the brain. The brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, whose function is to separate circulating blood from the brain and the fluid of the central nervous system. Its very difficult for sinus infection to be able to cross this border, despite the proximity of the sinuses to the brain.
The blood-brain barrier is semipermeable, however, and it is possible on rare occasions for an infection to get through from the sinuses to the brain. If a sinus infection spreads to the brain, it can be a life-threatening condition, leading to swelling of the brain, meningitis, or brain abscess.
Symptoms might include:
- Severe headache, and
- Swelling in the face.
Most of these symptoms would require an emergency visit to the doctor, even without an association with a sinus infection.
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Sinus Infection And Blurry Vision
Sinus infections can cause more than just pain in the area of the eyes. In fact, sinus infections can cause problems even if you dont feel pain.
Sinus pressure can impact blood circulation to the eyes. Disruption in blood circulation to the eyes causes sudden, patchy blurred vision. A warm compress across the forehead can ease pressure and reduce the swelling. This restores proper circulation of blood to the eyes and the blurry vision is cleared.
Sudden blurry vision can be a symptom of a serious condition and your doctor should always be consulted. It is extremely unlikely but a sinus infection could actually spread into the eye socket, causing an infection that could cause blindness. Dont risk it. See your doctor.
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Related Advise For How Do You Know If A Sinus Infection Has Spread To Your Eye
Can a sinus infection affect the optic nerve?
Sinusitis is a rare but treatable cause of optic nerve injury and vision loss. One must consider optic neuropathy due to sinusitis in patients who have clinical evidence of optic neuritis with atypical features such as a history, any symptoms of sinus disease, and vision loss progression beyond 23 weeks.
Can sinus make your eyes hurt?
Problems with the sinuses often include feelings of pain in and around the face. One of the main symptoms of a sinus infection is throbbing pain and pressure around the eyeballs. At least one type of sinus infection sphenoid sinusitis is linked to an ache behind the eyes.
Can a sinus headache make your vision blurry?
When this happens, certain symptoms can appear, such as blurred or double vision, headaches and dizziness just to name a few. Sometimes people with headache symptoms mistakenly believe they have sinus headaches, when what they really have is a binocular vision problem.
How do you get rid of a sinus headache behind your eye?
What are the symptoms of a bacterial sinus infection?
What are the symptoms of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis?
Can Spinal Problems Cause Blurred Vision
Some spinal problems can impair vision, although this is dependent upon where along the spine the injury has occurred. Most frequently, blurry or patchy vision can be the result of a nerve ending that has become pinched, especially in the cervical spinal area. Tumors and cysts along the spine can also contribute to this condition, and may require surgery for alleviation of the vision issues.
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How Do You Unclog A Sphenoid Sinus
3. Sphenoid/ethmoid sinus massage
Can you have sphenoid sinusitis for years?
Because there is no clear definition for chronic sphenoid rhinosinusitis, in this article, we define chronic sphenoid rhinosinusitis as a spectrum of either infective or inflammatory diseases occurring exclusively in sphenoid sinus, either in one or both sides, persisting for more than 12 weeks.
Will sphenoid sinusitis go away on its own?
About 70 percent of sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics. Consider these other forms of treatments instead of antibiotics: Decongestants. These medications are available for over-the-counter purchase.
Blurred Peripheral Vision And Sudden Ocular Occlusion
When there is no area pain during an incident of sudden patchy vision, the causes for the issue may be internal rather than external irritants. Some systemic problems that lead to the onset of blurred vision can include:
Some of these conditions such as diabetes, vascular issues, and thyroid problems will require medical interventions, since the underlying causes can result in other health problems. Blurry vision that is the result of sinus pressure or tiredness may require rest in order to alleviate the symptoms. Pressure in the head responds positively to heat, and in many cases, a hot compress across the forehead, eyes, and bridge of the nose can offer relief and restore normal vision.
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Can Chronic Sinusitis Cause Dementia
Memory Loss or dementia are not often associated with sinus infections. However, when proper testing is completed, a correlation might be found and a unique treatment plan that addresses sinus disease may be the only way to improve memory loss.
Can a sinus infection affect your eyes?
Serious complications of chronic sinusitis complications are rare, but may include: Vision problems. If your sinus infection spreads to your eye socket, it can cause reduced vision or possibly blindness that can be permanent.
How To Treat Bvd
Your eye doctor will perform a neurovisual exam to examine you for mild visual misalignments linked with BVD as part of the treatment for BVD.
Your eye doctor may prescribe prisms to be inserted onto the lenses of your glasses if a misalignment is discovered.
The two pictures received by the eyes are adjusted by prismatic glasses, allowing fusion to occur without overworking the extraocular muscles. Blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, and other symptoms should disappear or be significantly reduced once prismatic glasses are applied.
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How Does Sinus Affect Your Eyes
As we move from winter into spring, many who suffer from seasonal sinusitis or allergies maybe a little hesitant to embrace the warmer weather and change of season.
Severe headaches, fever, nasal congestion, pressure or facial tenderness, a blocked nose, a sore and itchy throat and an uncomfortable cough are common symptoms that indicate that your sinuses or allergies are acting up. But, did you know swelling eyelids, bulging and red eyes, impaired eye movement and double vision can also be signs that you are suffering from the seasonal change?
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When To Seek Medical Advice
- a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
- a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
- a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
- eye pain or swelling of one or both eyes
- a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
- shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
While it’s highly unlikely to be caused by a cavernous sinus thrombosis, these symptoms need further investigation.
In very rare cases, these symptoms may appear from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine.
You should also contact a GP if you develop any of the eye symptoms described above.
Page last reviewed: 05 August 2021 Next review due: 05 August 2024
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Anxiety And Blurred Vision
States of extreme tension and stress can also be the cause of blurred vision. In some cases, this is the result of prolonged exposure to a highly stressful state, and the blurred vision results due to constriction to circulation as well as a response to the high levels of hormones that are present during stress. Breathing exercises and relaxation can frequently aid in alleviating the problem, and will also present as good coping mechanisms for anxiety.
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Pain In The Quiet Eye
DAVID C. FIORE, MD, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada
ANDREW V. PASTERNAK, MD, Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, Reno, Nevada
RABAB M. RADWAN, MD, Mercy Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, Redding, California
Am Fam Physician. 2010 Jul 1 82:69-73.
Although eye pain is often accompanied by redness or injection, pain can also occur with a quiet eye. Pain in a quiet eye can be the first sign of a vision-threatening condition, a more benign ophthalmologic condition, or a nonophthalmologic condition. Acute narrow-angle glaucoma is an emergent vision-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment and referral to an ophthalmologist. Although most nonophthalmologic conditions that cause eye pain do not need immediate treatment, giant cell arteritis requires urgent treatment with corticosteroids. Other vascular conditions, such as carotid artery disease, thrombosis of the cavernous sinus, and transient ischemic attack or stroke, rarely cause eye pain but must be considered. Pain may also be referred from the sinuses or from neurologic conditions, such as trigeminal neuralgia, migraine and cluster headaches, and increased intracranial pressure. The differential diagnosis of eye pain in the quiet eye is extensive, necessitating a systematic and thorough approach.
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Sinus Infection In Eye
If you think it might be allergies, Wyndly can help you. You can order a test kit today to get started. If its not allergies then it could be a sinus infection. Sinus infections are a common cause of illnesses in patients. SmartDocMD features information on sinus infection symptoms and causes frequently. Many patients that experience sinus infections describe symptoms that involve their eyes, or around their eyes. In fact, many questions they have revolve around sinus infection in eye, and watery eyes sinus infections. If you believe that you have any infection in your eye, you should consult a doctor. Read more about sinus infection in eye and related symptoms.
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Conditions Requiring Immediate Evaluation
- Detached or torn retina. This requires emergency surgical repair to avoid irreversible vision loss.
- Stroke. Prompt and appropriate treatment for the type of stroke youâre having is critical to prevent the death of your brain cells.
- Transient ischemic attack. Although symptoms resolve within 24 hours on their own, a TIA is a serious warning sign for stroke. You may be given blood thinners to lower the risk of a stroke in the future.
- Wet macular degeneration. Medications injected into the eye may help improve vision. Treatment with laser photocoagulation can slow vision loss but canât restore your vision. Special vision-enhancing devices are sometimes used to help you see better.
- Angle closure glaucoma. You will need several different medications, including topical and oral pressure-lowering drugs, and occasionally steroids to reduce the fluid in your eye. Many times, you may require a laser procedure called laser iridotomy.
- Endophthalmitis. An ophthalmologist will inject antibiotics or an antifungal medication into your eye. They may also give you a steroid to reduce swelling.
- Concussion. A concussion should be evaluated, but visual symptoms usually resolve in 7 to 10 days on their own. If problems with eye movement or focus persist, your doctor may recommend vision therapy.
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When Is Blurry Vision A Medical Emergency
Sometimes, blurred vision in one eye can signify a serious condition that needs emergency treatment. Its important to be aware of the signs of these conditions so you know when to seek medical care.
- Severe headache that comes on quickly
- A headache that follows a blow to the head
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty raising one or both arms
People with diabetes should seek immediate medical care if they experience:
- Sudden changes in vision, such as flashes of light
- An unusual increase in eye floaters
- Sudden vision loss, especially after coughing or sneezing
- Seeing shadows, curtains, or cobwebs in your field of vision