Sinusitis: When to Call the Doctor

  • Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste

The secondary symptoms of sinusitis are just as unpleasant and can have a serious impact on your quality of life:

When these symptoms hit, you have three choices:

  1. Ignore them and suffer through
  2. Treat them with over-the-counter remedies
  3. Call the doctor

While many of us will put off calling the doctor for as long as possible, there are some symptoms that warrant that call sooner than later. Here they are per age group:

  • Diagnosing sinusitis in children can be difficult because the sinuses don’t fully develop until the teen years and the symptoms often mirror other illnesses. That said, KidsHealth recommends calling a doctor if your child develops:
    • A cold that lasts for more than 10 days without improvement
    • A cold that seems worse than usual or gets worse after 7 days
    • Symptoms of allergies that don’t clear with the usual allergy medication
    • Pain or stiffness in the cheeks
    • Fever
    • Nausea or vomiting
  • WebMD cites the following reasons to call the doctor for adults:
    • Sinusitis does not improve after 2 days of home treatment
    • Pain in the face or upper teeth
    • Pain extending from the bridge of the nose to the lower eyelid
    • Headache that is not relieved by an over-the-counter pain medicine
    • Fever of 101°F or higher
    • Nasal discharge that starts out clear and later becomes thick and discolored (yellow or green)
    • Cold symptoms that last longer than 10 days or get worse after the first 7 days
    • Mild or chronic pain in the face that lasts longer than a month, has changed or has not been checked by a doctor
    • Not feeling any better within 3 to 5 days after starting antibiotics for your sinus infection.

If you’re lucky, your sinus infection will go away quickly on its own or with minimal over-the-counter treatment. Unfortunately, for people with chronic sinusitis, even if the flare up goes away quickly, it always comes back. In this case, it’s really best to see a specialist for help and put an end to your symptoms once and for all. Because why suffer when you don’t need to?

And that’s where Connecticut Sinus Center comes in. To learn more about what we can do for you, call 860-BALLOON and schedule a consultation at one of our four conveniently-located offices: Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury. When you come in, we’ll discuss your symptoms and medical history before doing anything else. Next, we’ll perform a thorough series of tests to figure what is causing your sinus issues and how we can best treat it without disrupting your lifestyle. You may even be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, a noninvasive, in-house procedure done with local anesthesia, that can put a permanent end to your sinus suffering. So go ahead and call the doctor, but not just any doctor – our doctor!
For additional information on sinus-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.

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60 Westwood Ave., Suite 104
Waterbury, CT 06708
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