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How To Tell If Sinus Infection Has Spread To Brain

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When You Should Worry About A Sinus Infection

Mother speaks after son almost dies when sinus infection spreads to brain

    Most of us have suffered through a sinus infection, or sinusitis, at some point in our lives. It is no picnic, especially when they linger and nothing you try brings relief.

    Sometimes sinus infections linger because you may not be treating them properly, or possibly taking the wrong medication. In rare cases, a lingering sinus infection is a sign of a more serious problem.

    What Is Sigmoid Sinus Thrombosis

    4.5/5venous sinus thrombosisclotvenous sinusesread more on it

    Cavernous sinus thrombosis is usually caused by a bacterial infection that spreads from another area of the face or skull. Many cases are the result of an infection of staphylococcal bacteria, which can cause: sinusitis an infection of the small cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead.

    Beside above, is venous sinus thrombosis dangerous? Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a very rare, life-threatening condition that can affect adults and children. In cavernous sinus thrombosis, a blood clot blocks a vein that runs through a hollow space underneath the brain and behind the eye sockets. These veins carry blood from the face and head back to the heart.

    In this way, what is sigmoid sinus?

    The sigmoid sinus is a dural venous sinus that lies deep within the human head, and just below the brain. The sigmoid sinus is actually a pair of two sinuses that enable veins to spread from the middle of the head downwards.

    Is sinus thrombosis curable?

    Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is an uncommon but potentially life-threatening condition. When showing resistance to treatment or a malignant progression despite anticoagulant therapy, endovascular interventional treatment is of help.

    How Long Does It Take For A Sinus Infection To Reach The Brain

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    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

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    Tooth Infection Treatment Options

    Depending on the cause of the tooth infection, treatment may include:

    Dental Abscess Treatment

    During this procedure, your dentist will make a small incision into your gums and drain the abscess. They will drain all of the pus out before stitching it back up to ensure the bacteria is removed.

    If your tooth is severely damaged or decayed, extraction will likely be necessary. Youll need a dental implant after the tooth is surgically removed, which can cost up to $4,000.

    Root Canal Treatment

    Root canal treatment is necessary if you have a large cavity that has spread to the tooths pulp. This treatment can also involve abscess draining.

    During the procedure, your dentist will remove the infected dental pulp and drain the abscess.

    The root canal is cleaned, shaped, and sealed. Then a dental crown is placed on top of the root canal treated tooth.


    Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat dental abscesses. After the abscess is drained, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the remaining infection. Antibiotics alone do not cure abscesses.

    Depending on the severity of your abscess or infection, you may need oral antibiotics or IV antibiotics.


    If you have a root canal-treated tooth but are still experiencing a toothache an apicoectomy may be necessary. This is a minor dental surgery that removes the apex .

    If you develop sepsis, you’ll need to visit an ICU . Fluids and IV antibiotics will be used to treat this condition.


    Treatment Options For Brain Abscesses

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    Brain abscesses are diagnosed through a series of tests including neurological exams, scans, and X-rays. If an abscess is detected, the person will need to stay in the hospital for treatment and monitoring. This is a serious condition that can change rapidly.

    Depending on the size of the abscess, treatment could be medication to address the infection and shrink the abscess. If the abscess is deep or it does not respond to medication, surgery may also be required.

    Remember to get immediate medical treatment if you, or someone you know, experience symptoms of a brain abscess. Dont let a sinus infection develop into something worse. Visit your doctor to get the medical attention you need.

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    When Do Symptoms First Appear

    The symptoms of a sinus infection often come on suddenly. COVID-19 symptoms can develop more gradually 2 to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

    A sinus infection can often happen after youve had a common viral illness, such as a cold or the flu. If your symptoms develop after youve already been sick, you may have a sinus infection.

    Viruses that cause a cold or flu tend to circulate in the fall and winter months. COVID-19 can occur any time of the year. While a sinus infection could develop following COVID-19, this hasnt yet been reported by research.

    A sinus infection can also occur after exposure to allergens or irritants, such as pollen, pet dander, and cigarette smoke. If you have allergies or were recently around an irritant, you may be at risk for a sinus infection.

    What Are The Signs Of A Sinus Infection

    Sinus Infection: Sinus infections and sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed and/or infected. Sinus infection symptoms and signs include bad breath, runny or stuffy nose, or nasal congestion, facial pain and swelling, tooth pain, ringing in the ears, sinus headache, fever, sore throat and cough.

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    Will Sinus Infections Resolve If Left Untreated

    Lingering sinus infections should be treated before they escalate into a more serious issue. If a sinus infection is untreated, it may begin to impact the surrounding areas: the eyes and brain.

    Untreated sinus infections can result in orbital and intracranial complications. Orbital refers to an infection that moves from the sinus into the eye. It can even result in an abscess in the eye area, which threatens vision.

    Intracranial infections refer to infection in the brain. These can ultimately progress to become a brain abscess or meningitis if left untreated.

    Because the sinuses are located close to the eye and brain, the most serious complications of an untreated sinus infection affect these important structures.

    How One Teen’s Sinus Infection And Brain Surgery Changed His Life

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    Michael Phipps experienced a longstanding sinus infection that spread to the brain causing Subdural Empyema and requiring emergent surgery. He is pictured here with neurosurgeon Tanya Minasian, DO.

    Michael Phipps is ecstatic to have returned to school in January, to be able to hang out with his friends, play video games and enjoy being a teenager. Last June, the 15-year-old and his family werent sure what the future held for him after he underwent an emergency craniotomy at Loma Linda University Childrens Hospital to remove brain abscess caused by Sinusitis.

    In early May 2019, Michael had experienced congestion, fever and headaches. Michaels mother, Tacara Phipps, took him to his primary care physician several times for treatment.

    The doctor said it was viral something that with rest, water, and antibiotics he would feel better, Phipps said. But as an LVN, I knew when his fevers persisted, that meant the body was trying to fight off an infection.

    After a month of ongoing symptoms, Phipps took Michael to see pediatric internal medicine physician, Andrew W. Wai, MD who told the family that emergency treatment was needed, and he was taken to Loma Linda Universitys Emergency Department. A CT scan revealed that Michaels sinus infection had spread to the brain, causing a brain abscess a collection of pus in the brain. The infection had also created a layer of pus between the outside of the brain and the skull, called a subdural empyema.

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    How To Prevent Sinus Infection From Spreading To The Brain

    In order to prevent the infection from reaching the brain, follow the general guidelines of hygiene. Also, get in touch with an ENT doctor without any further delay. Some of the preventive measures to keep in mind are-

    • Wash the hands with soap and water regularly.
    • Do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth after sneezing
    • Pay attention to the symptoms
    • Avoid taking antibiotics regularly to prevent the bacteria from getting drug-resistant

    Read more:

    Infection Of The Bone

    Both recurrent acute sinusitis and chronic sinus infections can spread to the bone surrounding the sinuses. This infection can enter blood vessels and send bacteria to the brain or other parts of the body. Infected bone is very difficult to cure. Treatment is generally long-term intravenous antibiotics.

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    Is It Bad To Blow Your Nose

    When you blow your nose, it can make things worse. Thats because when were sick and build up the pressure in our nostrils which causes mucus to shoot out of them instead onto surfaces like carpets or bedding leading some people who have allergies connect this with an increase chance for sneezing fits due specifically around year-end season but there are other factors at play here too!

    Sickness leads us all into wanting nothing more than relief from blockages so take care not only what kind if infection has set roots within inner ear structures try using over the counter medications.

    Sinus Infections Can Get To Your Brainbut Dont Panic


    Traveling through the blood-brain barrier is difficult.

    ByClaire Maldarelli | Published Mar 23, 2018 11:30 PM

    When I was a little kid and I had a potential sinus infection, my mom would always warn: Watch it, that infection might go to your brain!

    It was a useful strategy to get me to go to the doctor. But is it really true? Can a sinus infection actually travel to your noggin?

    It does turn out that my mom wasnt totally off base: The infectious bacteria that infiltrate our sinuses canVERY RARELYmake its way to the brain. One of these rare occurrences recently made the news: A 13-year-old boy from Michigan died after a persistent sinus infection made its way to the blood vessels inside his brain. Despite emergency surgery to control the infection, he died a few days after being admitted to hospital.

    The news is tragic and incredibly scary. But the reason it made the news in the first place is because this was a very unusual case. Consider these statistics: Acute sinusitis, the medical term for a temporary infection of the sinuses, is a type of upper respiratory infection that also includes a stuffed up and inflammed nose, ears, or throat. These ailments are common a given child in the U.S. will get about five of them every year. More than half of those will come from viruses.

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    Throat Irritation And Cough

    As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.

    It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.

    When Is A Tooth Infection An Emergency

    A dental abscess infection is always considered a dental emergency. Any visible gum swelling can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

    During emergency treatment for a dental abscess, the surgeon will open up the abscess and drain it. This will relieve pressure and reduce any pain associated with the infection.

    You will also receive prescription antibiotics to help clear the infection.

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    When To Get Medical Advice

    Any symptoms that suggest a problem with the brain and nervous system should be treated as a medical emergency. These include:

    • slurred speech
    • muscle weakness or paralysis
    • seizures occurring in a person with no previous history of seizures

    If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

    Any symptoms that suggest a worsening infection, such as a high temperature or being sick, should be reported to your GP immediately.

    If your GP is not available, contact your local out-of-hours service or call NHS 111.

    Choose The Expert In Sinus Treatment

    Common sinus infection in 12-year-old leads to rare illness, emergency brain surgery

    Dr. Nguyen is a national expert in ear, nose and throat treatment and is responsible for perfecting innovative and effective treatments like balloon sinuplasty. For more than 15 years, he has been helping people seek relief from their nasal and sinus conditions. Let Houston Sinus and Allergy use the newest technology and our vast experience to customize a solution for your nose and sinuses.

    You can reach us by calling , or fill out the form at the top of the page to book an assessment to start feeling better!

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    About Author: Lisa Coon

    Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.

    How To Cure Chronic Sinus Infections Permanently

    Surgery considerations. Drinking plenty of fluids. Fluids help to thin out mucus, which makes it easier to pass through your sinus passages. You know youre drinking enough Applying warm compresses. Create a warm compress using a soft washcloth and warm water. These compresses help to open your sinus passages Using a neti pot. A neti pot is an alternative to saline nose sprays. You can buy these at most drugstores and online. They look like a small tea pot

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    Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice

    Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.

    If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.

    Symptoms Of A Brain Abscess

    Deviated Septum

    The symptoms of a brain abscess may develop quickly or slowly but can include:

    • headache which is often severe, located in a single section of the head and cannot be relieved with painkillers
    • changes in mental state such as confusion or irritability
    • problems with nerve function such as muscle weakness, slurred speech or paralysis on one side of the body
    • a high temperature
    • being sick
    • stiff neck
    • changes in vision such as blurring, greying of vision or double vision

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    Is A Bacterial Sinus Infection Contagious

    The best way to prevent a bacterial sinus infection is by preventing its underlying cause. If you have been diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis, your doctor may recommend treatments such as nose drops or tablets that can help ease symptoms and reduce inflammation in the nasal passage which could potentially lead up towards lessening infectiousness of certain illnesses like colds/flues when shared among friends etc

    A More In Depth Explanation Of Sinusitis

    Acute sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.

    With acute sinusitis, it might be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face might feel swollen, and you might have throbbing facial pain or a headache.

    Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a week to 10 days.

    In most cases, home remedies are all that’s needed to treat acute sinusitis. However, persistent sinusitis can lead to serious infections and other complications. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis.

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    How To Get Rid Of Sinusitis

    If you want to get rid of your sinusitis, you and your ENT will need to work together to discover the source of your sinus infections. For example, your sinusitis might always be precipitated by a cold, or you could have a deviated septum and sinusitis or sinusitis and sleep apnea. Regardless, finding the root cause behind your recurrent or prolonged sinusitis will help determine treatment.

    Once the source of your sinus infections is found, you and your ENT will need to discuss treatment options. For those with recurrent sinus issues, one treatment, in particular, has proven itself effective again and again. That treatment option is balloon sinuplasty.

    Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to perform and requires little to no recovery time.

    When To See The Doctor For Sinus Infection

    Deadly sinus infection

    Symptoms that last more than 10 days without improvement and are worsening after you started to improve is cause for concern. If you have symptoms like severe headache or facial pain and a fever that lasts longer than three to four days, you should seek immediate medical care. Your doctor will be able to help diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and will provide an active plan of treatment.

    While sinus infections are common, they can also be life-threatening. If a sinus infection becomes severe and goes untreated, it can spread to the brain.

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