8 Dangerous Complications of Sinusitis, But 3 That Can Kill

For anatomy of the sinuses, please refer to previous post, “Nasal and Sinus Anatomy”: http://wp.me/pR4iB-1g For Complications of Sinusitis, keep reading:

How to “Read” a CT Scan:

Some brief instructions on reading sinus CT scans: black is air; white is bone; gray is “soft tissue,” or everything else – brain, eyeball, cheek tissue, thickened sinus lining, or snot, or even pus.

[These instructions, along with some CT scans, are from previous post,“3 Year Old Boy Hospitalized for Severe Sinusitis”:  http://wp.me/pR4iB-2k Also see article on How to Read Your CT Scan: http://wp.me/pR4iB-yj ]


Warning … Danger, Will Robinson …

Complications of sinusitis are rare, but they can have horrible outcomes if not treated promptly, aggressively, and with skill.  The following review describes what can go wrong, what some of the signs and symptoms are, and when you need to seek medical help, like right now.

For those of you who are too young to know, the robot at the right (“B9”) was a regular feature on “Lost in Space” from the mid-1960’s.  You can buy a full-sized replica for only $25,000.  Seriously, people buy them.  There are now several websites devoted to the B9 robot and the Lost in Space series. I just can’t imagine being so nostalgic for a TV series that I would spend $25 grand for one of these.  It’s not like it will vacuum the floor or fetch you a beer.

Complications of Sinusitis

Intracranial Complications of Sinusitis:

The ethmoid, frontal, and sphenoid sinuses are separated from the brain by only a thin layer of bone.  If infection – sinusitis – passes through these bones it can infect the fluid and tissues that surround the brain, resulting in meningitis (1).  If the infection enters the brain tissue it can cause an abscess (2), or walled-off infection.  Inflammation of the intracranial blood vessels can result in abnormal clotting (thrombosis) of blood vessels inside the skull (3).  This, in turn, can cause blindness, brain swelling, stroke, and death. Stress-point: intracranial complications can be fatal.

Forehead Abscess (“Pott’s Puffy Tumor”) Complicating Sinusitis

Case #1

This teenage boy had 2 rare complications of sinusitis: extension of the infection to form an abscess in his forehead (“Pott’s Puffy Tumor”), and intracranial extension to form a brain abscess:

You can see from the photo on the right that his forehead looks like he is hiding a golf ball.  This abscess is very tender.  He rapidly developed “mental status changes” (he was irritable and lethargic), and an emergency MRI revealed that the infection in the forehead had eroded through the bone of the anterior skull to form a brain abscess:

Forehead Abscess That Extends Through Skull to Form Brain Abscess

This young man required emergency surgery to drain both his forehead abscess and his brain abscess, as well as to remove all of the infected tissue (mostly polyps) within his sinuses that caused the problem in the first place.  He recovered fully.


Any of these infections – meningitis, brain abscess, thrombosis (blood clot)– can be life threatening.  They require urgent and aggressive treatment.  When these complications are suspected, an MRI is usually obtained, sometimes in addition to a CT scan.

These patients require hospitalization, with possible consultation of multiple specialists including neurosurgeon, ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist (ENT), and infectious disease experts.  Many will require urgent surgery.

Anyone with sinusitis who exhibits changing mood or mental abilities, sudden and severe irritability, lethargy, or difficulty speaking, walking, or managing fine motor skills, must be evaluated by a physician.  Right Now.

Orbital Complications of Sinusitis:

The ethmoid sinuses fill the space between the eye sockets (“orbits”), and the maxillary sinuses in the bones of the cheeks form the floors of the orbits.  Again, these sinuses are separated from the orbits by only a thin layer of bone.  If infection from sinusitis in these sinuses passes through these bones, orbital abscess (4) or infection (orbital cellulitis, 5) in the orbit can result in blindness.

Case #2

The photo below shows a 6-year old boy with a recent history of a “cold” – a viral URI.  Over the past 24 hours his right eye is drooping, he complains of double vision. On exam, his eye does not move easily, seems to be looking down, as you might detect in this photo.

Abscess next to boy’s right eye socket (orbit)

A CT scan of his sinuses reveals a small abscess just inside his right eye socket (orange arrow).  This causes inflammation and compression of one of the eye muscles (medial rectus) that moves the eye (dashed orange line).  This often requires surgery to cure.

Axial CT Scan Showing Sub-periosteal Orbital Abscess

Case #3

The photo below is from a 6-year  old girl with an identical story.  Her eye actually looks worse, with redness and swelling so that she cannot easily open her left eye.

Sinusitis Complication: Girl’s Left Eye with Peri-orbital Cellulitis

A CT scan of her sinuses shows “stuff” in the ethmoid sinuses next to her left eye, but there is no abscess. She has “peri-orbital cellulitis,” or infection of the tissues around the eye.  This  improved with intravenous antibiotics, no surgery.

Girl’s Left Ethmoid Sinuses, and Peri-Orbital Cellulitis

Thrombosis of Ophthalmic Vein, and Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

Case #4

Different patient:  The MRI shown on the right shows a life-threatening complication of sinusitis.  This complication is also a risk for blindness.  It shows an MRI from a teenage girl with severe sinusitis.  The complication is clotting of the veins of her left eye, and clotting of a large venous area inside the skull – the cavernous sinus (orange arrows).

She was hospitalized for intravenous antibiotics for severe sinusitis, and otitis.  When she began to complain of vision changes this MRI was obtained.  Visual testing revealed that she was losing the sight in her left eye.

She was taken to emergency surgery for sinus surgery, mostly to decompress her left orbit to relieve pressure on her eye and optic nerve.

Although she had a very difficult hospitalization and required several surgeries and long-term antibiotics, and anti-clotting medications, she recovered fully.  Her vision is perfect, and unchanged.  [Aside: after leaving the hospital, she brought me huckleberry turnovers that she had baked herself every time she saw me in clinic, for years!] Her story is described in the first journal paper listed in Resources, below.


These patients usually require hospitalization, with consultation of ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist, neurosurgeon, and infectious disease experts.  Many will require urgent surgery.

Anyone with sinusitis who experiences ANY change in vision (double vision, blurring of vision, difficulty seeing in any way), or bulging of one or both eyes, must be evaluated by a physician.  Right Now.

Local Complications of Sinusitis:

Sinus Polyps, Complication of Sinusitis, Chronic Rhinitis


Polyps (6):

Chronic inflammation from sinusitis can be associated with sinus and nasal polyps.  These are abnormal swellings of the lining.  Polyps can cause nasal obstruction, making nasal breathing difficult or impossible.  Polyps can also block the sinus openings, causing worsening of sinusitis.  Chronic growth of polyps can push bone out of place and cause distortion of the nasal profile – how the nose looks from the outside.  Obstruction from polyps can also cause loss of smell.  Finally, recurrent and chronic sinusitis can cause permanent loss of smell due to injury of the olfactory nerves.  Children with cystic fibrosis are at increased risk for sino-nasal polyps.

Mucoceles (7):

Obstruction of the sinus opening from chronic inflammation can result in formation of a sinus mucocele.  As mucus continues to be produced by the lining of the sinus, the mucocele gradually enlarges.  This can result in erosion and remodeling of surrounding bone.  Mucoceles are benign, but can cause significant problems, especially if they spread into the orbits or skull.  Most mucoceles are not a problem, but if they become infected they can cause severe bacteremia – bacteria in the bloodstream.  That can be life-threatening.

Osteomyelitis (8): Infection of the Bone

Recurrent and chronic sinusitis can cause infection of the surrounding bone.  This may be how the intracranial or intra-orbital infections of sinusitis travel.  Bone infections can be extremely difficult to cure.  They often require long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy, and possibly surgery to remove the infection.


Any of these complications of sinusitis can become true emergencies.  Some of these complications require immediate surgery in order to save a life, or to prevent permanent brain injury or blindness.  These complications are not limited to children – they can threaten your life too.

These complications are most common during the worst of the cold-and-flu season, but CAN happen ANY time of the year.  If your child has recurrent and chronic rhinosinusitis, be alert.

This short list of sinusitis complications is not complete, but touches on the most dangerous complications, and some of the common complications.  If you suspect that you or your child has any of these complications of sinusitis, get medical attention.  Sinusitis is nothing to sneeze at (sorry, couldn’t help myself).


So What to DO About Sinusitis? Here are some articles related to causes and remedies of sinusitis. 

Consider possible causes of sinusitis, such as:

Exposure to various toxins in your home environment: See my article on Better Living Through LESS Chemistry: 8 Natural Alternatives to Toxic Cleaners.

Allergies, including allergies to Dust Mites.

Smoke exposure: Quite Smoking! Do it for your Kids.

A couple articles on How to READ Your CT Scan, and What to Expect for Your Child’s CT Scan.

Consider whether BIOFILM may be playing a role in your Chronic Sinusitis.

Here’s my 5-Step Program to Eliminate Chronic Sinusitis.

Consider Probiotics as a Remedy.

 When Your “Sinus” Headache is NOT From Your Sinuses.

Consider Adding Xylitol to Your Treatment Regimen for Sinusitis.

If you MUST have sinus surgery, consider Minimally-Invasive Approach, Balloon Sinuplasty.

Finally, consider other alternative approaches, such as Guided Imagery for Sinusitis.


Thanks for visiting, and see you here again.  I appreciate your comments and questions.  Keep ’em coming.  Continue to “be excellent to one another.”

Best of health and success to you and your families.

Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor :~D)


Zapanta PE, Chi DH, Faust RA: A unique case of Bezold’s abscess associated with multiple dural sinus thromboses. Laryngoscope, 111: 1944-1948, 2001

Caylaki F, Yaviz H, Cagici AC, Ozluoglu LN.  Endoscopic sinus surgery for maxillary sinus mucoceles. Head & Face Medicine, Vol. 2: http://www.head-face-med.com/content/2/1/29

Also take a look at my at a great article (and great overall website resource) on sinusitis, by my friend, Dr. Itzhak Brook:


  1. This is frightening! Had no idea sinusitis could lead to these awful complications!! My husband had bacterial meningitis several years ago- had no idea it could be caused by sinusitis. Happy he’s a survivor! Thanks for the great information.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Dear Lauren,
      You are right, it is heart-breaking when we encounter these complications in children, especially. I strongly support daily saline sinus irrigation for your husband, especially with that history. He is one of the fortunate ones. Bacterial meningitis, even when survived, can cause permanent hearing loss. I hope his hearing survived intact. Thanks so much for visiting, and stay tuned: we will be covering saline rinses in detail – why and how to do them – over the next 4 weeks, first post tomorrow. Good timing. RF

    • I have had twelve surgeries and the last one was a year and four months ago. I felt odd right after and have been on an antibiotic ever since. The latest CT Scan revealed air fluid levels present and it was specifically, pointed out that this was not present on the MRI I had done right before this last surgery. Well your article has put me at ease a bit but the CT Scan also revealed that there is a deformity and an S curvature, I think near the Septum? My doctor stated he thought it was a polyp and required surgery but now he is not returning my calls. How can I determine what my scan really shows and who do I approach to help me understand this present situation? What will happen if I do nothing? Thanks for educating us, I appreciate it.

      • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

        Hi Julie,
        I’m sorry to hear about the poor treatment by your docs.
        My advice: seek another opinion – and yet another if necessary.
        And: treat your symptoms; don’t treat your CT scan.
        If you feel fine, ignore your CT scans!
        Best success

    • How did they detected it? Did he have surgery?

  2. Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

    Hi Wisdom,
    Yes, dental infections – related to dental extractions or not – are something that we look for when we are asked to see a patient with severe sinusitis. I have seen many dental abscesses as the source of sinusitis and facial cellulitis (severe tissue infection). Just one more reason to take great care of your teeth!
    Thanks for visiting, and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  3. What about the role of blood sugar levels and candida in sinus infections? I’ve read a lot of anecdotal tales about this and it seems that I have much healthier sinuses when I eat a high protein diet, low sugar diet.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Pete,
      Great observation, and thanks for your comment!

      Yes – higher protein is beneficial, with some qualifications: the protein in milk (cow’s milk) tends to thicken mucus secretions. That makes it more difficult for those little cilia to clear the secretions. The goal is thin secretions, and not too much of them.

      Regarding sugars: All publications on sinusitis, especially from the Naturpathic perspective, tell us that sugars should be avoided. This is especially true if you might have fungal sinusitis (including Candida / yeast).

      The caveat here is that honey might be an exception. Honey is a proven natural antibiotic, and can be very beneficial when added to the saline nasal rinse recipe for helping to manage chronic sinusitis (see posts on this blog: http://wp.me/pR4iB-c4 and http://wp.me/pR4iB-1Y ).

      If you have problems with sinusitis, take a look at 2 books: the first is by Dr. Josephson, Sinus Relief Now, and the other by Dr. Ivker, Sinus Survival. The first is by an MD but is a great integrative text (my favorite on sinusitis), the second is by a naturopathic DO, and includes mind-body connection and spiritual considerations. Both books discuss the issues that you raised here.

      Both are great references, and both available for good price at Amazon (my Amazon Store: http://bit.ly/9xfcOq).
      Thanks for visiting, and especially for sharing your insight. We ALL appreciate it.

  4. Sally Collins says:

    About 3 months ago I had intranasal lidocaine applied to my left nasal area to function as a block for headache. The doctor applied 4% lidocaine up my nose a few times for 30 minutes. After two weeks, I got what appeared to be a cold which cleared up. Three weeks later another cold. One month later a third. I maybe only get at most two colds a year, not three in two months. Is it possible or have your heard of intranasal lidocaine causing damage to the nasal tissues or cilia which will lead to repeated infections? Maybe a longshot? I also have allergies so it is hard to say if it is a cold or allergy. Thanks, Sally

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Sally,
      Lidocaine does temporarily slow function of cilia, but is not damaging, so maybe coincidence? My question for you is: did the lidocaine blocks help the headaches?
      Thanks for visiting and sharing!

  5. i have suffered from sinus infection since 2003 , my body is in extreme fatigue , i have developed a really bad temper , heavy headedness, difficulty understanding what am reading, personality change , fall asleep quickly, body odour, bad breathe . I have even been unable to continue studies. Unfortunately due to poor medical facilities in my country and lack of finance , i have been forced to live with it . Your assistance will be a miracle to me.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your poor health, and difficulty getting healthcare.
      Although I am not able to treat you or give you medical advice at a distance, please do search this site for general tips and approaches on remedies for some of the things that you describe – sinusitis, rhinitis, headaches, etc. Again, I am sorry to hear about your condition, but thank you for visiting and for sharing. Please do let us know how things go for you.

  6. ginger terry says:

    I have some suspected issues going on with my sinuses. I have for the past year continuously out of nowhere started blowing blood clots from my nose and even at times in the morning when I wake up coughed them from my lungs but what comes from my lungs looks like old blood and what is coming from my nose bright red any suggestions on what may be causing this ?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Ginger,
      Any time blood is involved, and it goes beyond a couple weeks, it’s time to involve a doc. My advice: go see your physician.

  7. Shannon says:

    Hi Doc –
    My 7 yr old was hospitalized for two weeks in March for orbital cellulitis, ocular abscess and bacteremia. Her left eye was swollen shut, just like the case you displayed. Emergency surgery removed the abscess and cleared out the ethmoids, and a few days later we were home….only to return in two days due to recurrent swelling. A second emergent surgery proved no infection, clear ethmoids and an idiopathic diagnosis. She has since seen all docs involved in care (ENT, infectious disease, ophthalmology and pediatrician) for follow ups and we were referred to an allergist for skin testing. Those were negative. He proceeded with blood work, which also proved negative yet revealed that her pneumococcal titer was near nothing, yet she had all conjugate vaccines on schedule. She rec’d a ‘booster’ vaccine and has had labs redrawn. We are awaiting those results.
    The swelling around her eye comes and goes – NEVER as severe as it was in the beginning, but still present. I don’t feel like any of our medical ‘team’ views this as concerning…should I be? I just want an answer so that we can move on, however that may be.
    I should note that her treatment was Vancamyacin, Sulfa, Augmentin, Flonase (all have since been discontinued) and daily sinus rinses – which she is a trooper at coping with. I would greatly appreciate any and all responses that you may have. Thanks so much!!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Shannon,
      Sorry to say, but the only time that I have seen persistent swelling after a peri-orbital cellulitis or abscess was when did not completely drain the abscess pocket during surgery – it does NOT sound as though that is what you are describing for your daughter. I’m so sorry that I’m not nearby so that I could examine her myself, and review her lab work and CT scans.
      Please keep me updated so that I can learn!
      Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  8. Lynda Wood says:

    I have a chronic sinus infection which shows as a mass in my left sinus probably caused by jaw surgery many years ago. I am having problems with blurry vision, fatigue and recently fainting spells and what look like seizures. Can this be caused by the chronic infection in my sinuses?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Lynda,
      Surgery around the sinuses can lead to a “mucocele” years later, so that may be what you are describing as the “mass” in your sinus. Mucoceles can become infected, causing all sorts of symptoms. My advice? See an ENT or a doc that you trust and ask about possible “cryptic infection”. There are various blood tests that can detect chronic infection. Sorry to hear about your troubles.
      Thanks for visiting, and please keep us updated.

    • My mother fell and they did a ct-scan on head for possible injury. Although they say everything is fine, the paperwork mentioned “sinus disease” When I questioned the Dr. she was very brief and said it was nothing. Trying to find out if that normal verbage on summary. She also has bouts of black-outs, dizzy spells etc. (they say could be anything) thats unexplained

  9. Angela Padilla says:

    My dad was hospitalized 2 months ago, his left eye drooped and experienced double vision. Over the years, he always experience sinusitis. CT scan revealed chronic sinusitis. Angiogram was also done and ruled out anuerysm. He’s at home now, but we are very concerned about his present condition, he has poor appetite he always complain every thing he smell everytime we cook. He also said, that his sense of smell was or may be affected by the hole caused by tooth extraction years ago. I’m a nursing student and I’m worried, because he manifests 3 symptoms among the 7 warning signs of cancer. He had a change in bowel and bladder habits, indigestion and dysphagia, and sudden weight loss. And lately, he seems to have body pain. We don’t know what to do and what to consult for. He’s been going back to his doctor and they just prescribe him meds for his sinusitis.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Angela,
      I’m distressed to hear about what your dad is going through, and frustrated that I cannot see him to help figure out what is going on. All I can say from a distance is that it’s time for another opinion. That’s what I always recommend when anyone is frustrated or up against a medical dead-end: another opinion. That is not a comment on the competency of your current medical team, simply a recognition that physicians are human and have limits, and that – despite our training and egos – we are NOT omnipotent. Time for another opinion. Please keep us posted, and best success!

      • Angela Padilla says:

        I’m glad you responded on my message doc. :) Anyway wer planning to have him x-rayed, cuz another doctor said that his change of smell might really be because of the hole brought about by his tooth extraction few years ago. We just hope, nothing else worse wud be find out. After his x-ray,probably by next week, we plan to consult again for another doctor, a specialist maybe. I just pray for the best. Thank you doc for responding, your such a good help, and its just overwhelming that i’m having a conversation with a great doctor. I’ll be posting soon as soon as I got updates bout my dad. Thank you again and More Power! May god bless you always.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Angela,
          You are welcome, and thank you for your kind comments. I am humbled by the love from my readers. Please do keep me updated on how he is doing, and thank you for sharing.

          • Angela Padilla says:

            Hello doc. I’m here to tell a good news. My dad is doing well right now. The last time I updated here he went for X-ray to see if his tooth extraction caused he’s change of smell, but the x-ray revealed no abnormalities. Lumbar puncture was also done when he went back to the hospital to rule out any viral infection, thank God the result was negative. As of now he’s still taking steroids but in lower dosage to treat some’ fatigue but all in all he’s appetite changed, he still have sensitive taste and smell but he can now eat more. And he’s back to work also. He doesn’t complain anymore about any pains so I believe he’s recovering well. He’s also gaining weight as I can notice. I just hope he’ll be totally well.

          • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

            So relieved to hear that, Angela.
            I am always so frustrated and fearful when readers of this site contact me for medical help and advice. Without knowing them as their physician, it is always potentially dangerous and always inappropriate to offer detailed medical advice. The best I can ever do is provide information, and urge people to connect with their local doc.
            Thank you for sharing, and for letting me know all is well!

    • Hi there. I was just looking up Mastoiditis..My daughter has. We are sick from a WDB (water damaged building).Hidden mold has made us very ill. My youngest daughter especially. I am NOT a doctor and I love this site (haven’t been on here for a long time)..Sounds like there may be some “mycotoxin” issues with your dad. I work with Dr. Irene Grant and Dr. Jack Thrasher to learn about the sicknesses caused from mold, mycotoxins, bacteria. It does terrible things to your body. It is VERY hard to diagnose illnesses caused from mycotoxins, trichothecenes, ochratoxins (fungi /spores from mold). Nobody believes they can be sick from mold, especially when it’s hidden, no matter how perfect and clean your home is, especially new homes, the worst!!
      If a person is ill from breathing in toxins, the worst thing for them is steroids and antibiotics.
      I LOVE this site, Dr. Faust is great and we LOVE our NasoPure sinus rinse..that made me stop giving my girls Flovent(steroid inhalers years ago, which saved my oldest’s immune system, but NOT my youngest)..Please look up Water Damaged buildings and Dr. Jack Thrasher, it has great info. FOR everyone…again, I am NOT a doctor. MOST chronic illnesses have a cause and if you have them nonstop, there IS a reason??? Environment??
      I hope your dad is well.

      • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

        Thanks so much for your kind comments. Agreed: conventional “Western” medicine is conditioned to use pharmaceuticals to manage illnesses, and we often do more harm than good – your reference to antibiotics and steroids is a perfect example. Yes, these agents CAN be life-saving, but are used in routine situations far too often.

        I do believe that our environment is a major component of chronic ailments. Not only our buildings, but the man-made toxins that simply do not break down, but accumulate in our environment … and our bodies.

        Every day, we are exposed to more than 2,000 chemicals that did not even exist on our planet when our grand-parents were growing up! Man-made chemicals, many of which are highly toxic, and accumulate in our environment.

        I hope that your girl’s mastoiditis does not become surgical, and if so, that she has an awesome and lasting outcome.
        Thanks again for visiting, and for sharing, and for your kind comments.

  10. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web site
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  11. It was fascinating to read your article. In 1993, at the age of 11 I had the same thing happen as case #1. I begin having extreme headaches and fatigue for about 6 months. My pediatrician at the time wrote it off as the flu and depression. It wasn’t until I became extremely dehydrated that I was hospitalized. The first night of being at the hospital I went code blue. Emergency CT scans revealed the large mass in my brain due to the sinuses abcessing and pushing into the forehead. Doctors performed emergency surgery believing I had a brain tumor. They saw the mass and removed all of my sinuses in my forehead. I had several months of continuous penicillin treatment to remove the infection. At the time in 1993, there were very few cases (I belive my neurosurgeon said 3) at the time that had happened. It is fascinating so many years later to read the same thing that happened to me. Thank you for making this information known as it is a real though rare possibility of what the sinuses can do!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Scary story, Karla!
      Glad that you made it okay. Some folks are not so fortunate.
      Thank you for visiting, for sharing. And thank you for your kind comments. I hope you continue to visit.
      Stay tuned for the launch of my eBooks in the next couple weeks!

  12. HI, i have a sinus infection after a cold and Im having vision changes on my right eye, no pain but feels like I have a big white start on my vision.Do I have to go to the emergency room? This has been going for two days,thanks

  13. Hi, may I ask. :)

    Can sinusitis lead to other minor complications like skin conditions? I have sinusitis on just on side of my face and minor swelling..a side I injured three years ago..he maxillary. However on this side I chronically suffer from cystic acne. Could they be linked?

    Thank you

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Emily,
      The straight answer: I have no idea. We can speculate that various bacterial and viral infections, by affecting our immune response, can lead to changes in our response to the bacteria that cause acne, but I am not aware of any research or clinical trials that help answer your question. I will start looking …
      Thanks for sharing,

      • I also wanted to ask..this is quite important,

        In the last week I have developed a lump on my forehead near my hairline. It is hard, feels like the kind of lump you get after a knock to the head. Along with this I have noticed a small dent by the lump and a number of odd sensations on my face. Today I felt a lot of pressure in the area where the lump is, my nose, cheek..tingling nerve kind sensations, dental pain, headache..all on the side where the lump is. However I have no fever or vomiting. Do you think this is related to my sinus infection? Do I need to go back to my doctor or is this normal in terms of sinusitis. I’m 28 and otherwise healthy.

    • I keep reading all of these because I love this site. I have been very fortunate to finally after 5 years figure out my young daughters’ chronic sinusitis,rhinitis,otitis media,chronic URI,chronic sore throats,etc..we had hidden mold..MOLD is dangerous, terrible and it effects every organ in your body. Especially sinuses..It gets stuck in your sinuses (fungal infections)..they are very dangerous if not treated correctly by the right kind of dr. which is extremely hard to find. Not many doctors understand environmental medicine, fungal infections,mycotoxins,bacteria in the sinuses and body. Dr. Jack Thrasher (website) has a lot of great info. about water damaged buildings, sinuses,fungal infections. Dr. Faust is a great doctor and I love this site and he always replies..I want everyone to know what mold/mycotoxins can do and if it’s untreated, it’s deadly, which we are dealing with now and it’s VERY scary..
      Good luck everybody and I hope everyone is well.

      • Hi Tina. If you’re open to it, I would like to discuss more about Water Damaged Building Syndrome with you. I am a patient of Dr. Grant, but am not making any progress with her treatments. I was exposed for 8 months 3 years ago, and this disease has destroyed my life. My sinuses are the worst symptom, and I don’t know what to try next. Perhaps we can discuss our experiences.

      • Greystone says:

        Everything has a cause, mine began with wheezing, sinus inflammation, blurred vision, dizziness, stomach issue, malaise I could not walk a block I was so sick , I kept thinking how does a sinus issue cause all this eventually heart palpitations, tremors weight fell to 95, light, sound and movement sensitivity and rashes. I was a mess.

        I had sinus surgery twice. Finally a MD/ND said he suspected mycotoxin poisoning – that I could have surgeries for the rest of life and I would not get well.

        Well our house was newer, maybe seven years old, it took time no smell, leaks, finally the sheet rock cracked tons of black mold hidden behind the wall.

        We moved. Renovated / mold-remediated, and sold the house.

        I was lucky my doctor said I had two weeks to live I was that compromised. It took me two years to get well. So, look deeper at the cause of sinus issues, it may surprise you. Mycotoxins from mold poisoning is very dangerous and it cause so many symptoms allergy sinus issues is just the beginning of a ride to place that you never knew existed.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Thanks for sharing your experience!
          And Tina, thank again for your kind comments. Much appreciated.

  14. Esmeralda Rodenas says:

    My 17 year old daughter got sinusitis in June. She was perscribed antibiotics (Augmentin) and decongestant tablets. She seemed to improve but had persistent headaches which did not respond to painkillers. When she started complaining about double vision we took her to hospital where she was examined by a junior doctor. He told us there was nothing wrong with her (no scan was performed) and we were send home with more painkillers. Less than 36 hours later one of her eyes closed. We took her to emergency and were told she had a cavernous sinus thrombosis. They tried everything but she died one week later.
    I strongly believe that even doctors are not aware of the dangers and complications (if rare) of a condition as common as sinusitis. If only we had read your article before, our daughter might still be alive as we would have insisted on scans etc.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Dear Esmeralda,
      I am profoundly saddened to hear about your daughter! What a tragedy.
      When I was at the University of Virginia Hospital, we barely saved a teenager with a severe sinus infection. With probably only hours to spare, we saved here eyesight, and ultimately her life, as her sinusitis extended to cavernous sinus thrombosis. Before the age of antibiotics, a cavernous sinus thrombosis caused by sinusitis was nearly always fatal. But, as you can attest, even now it can be fatal, despite our very best medical efforts.
      My fear, as our over-use of antibiotics – in our livestock and over-prescription in clinics – results in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, is that we may move back to the age without antibiotics. Yes, we will HAVE antibiotics, but they won’t work against the resistant bacteria. We are already seeing this happen with MRSA, VRE, and others.
      I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. Thank you for sharing. Perhaps others will benefit.

    • This is so heart breaking. I am So sorry about your daughter. wow..My daughter is 9 years old and for the past 5 1/2 years has had terrible sinus infections, sinusitis,rhinitis,otitis media, URI,ect..Horrendous new side effects. My aunt passed when she was barely 50, diagnosed w/ Sarcoidosis..She has terrible sinus infections all of her life.
      I FINALLY decided to go on my own and ignore our doctors who kept telling me that she had what I described above..Chronic same symptoms for over 5 years( for my daughter) ??? There is something causing it???It was our environment, poor air quality, MOLD..hidden.II didn’t stop until I researched so much I finally figured it out…We ALL have fungal infections in our bodies and need to be treated… Antibiotics and steroids suppress the immune system ( and do nothing for fungal infections , which most chronic sinusitis,rhinitis patients have but are mis diagnosed (like my aunt)….. Most doctors are not trained in environmental medicine and it breaks my heart to read this about your daughter..it breaks my heart completely..
      I WISH all doctors had to learn to test for environmental/toxic exposure (mycotoxins,trichothecenes,ochratoxins) in normal lab work when someone comes in nonstop for chronic illnesses? Test for fungal infections (which if not treated properly reside in the sinuses and is very dangerous and hard to rid of and diagnose).. It breaks my heart and I am So sorry about your daughter. My lil girl is fighting hard and we are treating her. It is scary.. May you have peace that your daughter is not in pain anymore..

  15. helo ,
    this is manju from india,my husband has chronic sinusitis,his left eye is swollen,he had his ct done ,it says synonasal polyposis & deviated septum,doctor gave antibiotics ,he’s better now.but still doc recommended for endoscopic surgery.is surgery really needed in my husband’s case?help me out.thx in advance.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Manjula,
      Thank you for taking the time to share with us here.
      Of course, I simply cannot answer your question without examining your husband and listening to his complete medical history. On the other hand, in my experience, I have only witnessed a couple cases where someone with sinonasal polyposis was able to avoid surgery.
      I can give you this advice however (the same for anyone who has been told that they need surgery): get another opinion from another doctor. Your husband should consider visiting another ENT doctor to get their opinion.
      Best success, and thank you for sharing!

  16. dear doctor,
    am very glad that u answered to my query very fast.in india we don’t get such oppurtunities to talk to doctors unless we have a prior appointment.coming to my husband’s problem,he’s hypertensive and been using bp medicines for almost 6 years & he’s on ecosprin also.his eyes are normal now but he complains abt his ear that he has less clarity in audibility.anyway today we’ll take a second opinion from other doc & keep u updated.i just want to avoid surgery unless it is compulsory for him.thank you doctor once again.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Dear Manjula,
      We are “on the same page” when it comes to your goal of avoiding surgery. Surgery should be a last resort.
      Let the severity of your husband’s symptoms be the guide for whether to pursue surgery or not. That is, if he is able to breathe through his nose, and he does not have complications of sinusitis caused by polyposis, then continue with your non-surgical remedies: probiotics, daily nasal saline rinses. Also consider adding Manuka honey to the nasal saline rinses to increase the “osmolarity” (solute concentration) of the rinses without adding more salt (and making the rinses ‘burn’).
      Thank you again for visiting.

  17. thank u doctor.yesterday we went to other ent specialist,by examining my husband he said there is no sinonasal polyposis but his sinuses are spreading infection.so he told though its not emergency but he has to get his surgery done.so we opted for surgery.many thanks for ur suggestions,they were really helpful.

  18. Doc im having small lump on my forehead on my hairline but it goes off it nevee took a day to disappear my xray says i have frontal sinusitis..i took my antibiotics but i notice a small soft lump on my forehead but again it disappear..im living in philippines and its summer here i have cold but i can still breath as if i dont have cold…is it normal because i have sinus?

  19. Hello Dr. Faust,
    I have been having sinus troubles for about a month now. After having a cold with a relatively high fever (102′), I developed a sinus infection. I was prescribed a round of antibiotics at a walk-in clinic. The pain from the infection did not ease up until days after the antibiotics were finished. Aside from being pain free, other symptoms remain including nasal drip, pressure, congestion, low grade fever, etc. Recently, I had a lump appear between my eyebrows that I though was a pimple, however, I am starting to thing otherwise. I’ve had it for about to weeks, it’s small, and elongated. The swelling fluctuates but it is not painful. When I touch it, it affects the pressure in my sinuses. I know this isn’t normal, but in the same effect, I would be embarrassed to waste my physician’s time by having her tell me it is a simple skin blemish. Any advise? Thank you, in advance for your time.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      My advice? If you are concerned (sounds reasonable), see your doc!
      And please let me know what’s up.

  20. california says:

    Great information. Lucky me I recently found your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved it for later!

  21. I have had otitis externa for 3 years now it at first used to go away on medications but not now everytime i had a flu it splurs up again! A few days ago i noticed i had pain in the mastoid region and goes from there to the back i also feel a weird feeling on that side of my face and a very superfacial pain on that side of the scalp! But what is scaring me i feel one side of my head is slightly bigger than the other i feel it raised on te same side i also feel slight swelling over my eyelid on the same side i am scared now please help me!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Maryam,
      I agree: the symptoms that you describe are annoying, and concerning. Please see an appropriate physician, as unfortunately, there is no way for me to provide insight from a distance.
      Thank you for visiting,
      Best health, best success!

    • Hi there. I am reading through all of this because I used to come on this site a lot and Dr. Faust is great and love his advice and the sinus rinses are great.\

      • oops..sorry.
        Fungal infections in the sinuses are very bad and a lot of people don’t realize the air quality where they work,live ,etc may be contaminated w/ mycotoxins caused from mold. When you have chronic sinus infections,etc..there is something causing it. Please have your doctor (which it’s very hard to find one who believes in this) to check for a fungal infection in your nasal/sinuses. Please be well.
        I am dealing with terrible things with my young daughter and I from living in hidden toxic mold that we didn’t know we had in the crawlspace. It does damage to your entire body as well if not treated. Good luck, be well.

  22. Jerri Haaven says:

    Dr. Faust – only by a miracle did I come by your website.

    I have been battling chronic sinusitis for the better part of 15 years. It seemed to appear when I moved from Seattle to Phoenix. I have taken every known antibiotic to treat the disease, until it subsequently left my body defenseless and I acquired C-DIFF. It’s always scary when your DOCTOR phones you instead of a nurse to warn you of the dangers.

    Since then, I’ve sworn off antibiotics, but have had 2 sinus surgeries, which helped to open up the passageways, and corrected a deviated septum, but the infections continue.

    Most recently, after suffering for several weeks/months, and knowing I had an infection, I went to the VA where they cultured the gunk in my head. Turns out I have the Psuedamonas bacterium. Is this what I’ve had all along but was never correctly diagnosed???

    My question is this.. Is a Nebulizer with Tobramycin 300 MG/5ML Oral Inhl Soln 5 ML an effective treatment? Seems to me this would not get into my sinuses.. ?? The literature accompanying the medication indicates it’s effective for Cystic Fibrosis??? I’ve called the VA and am awaiting a call back (they forgot to send the Nebulizer), but am very hesitant to proceed with this medication.

    In the meantime, I’m ordering the honey today, and will go to the store and purchase every other treatment you’ve recommended.

    Thank you for all you do for those of us who suffer from this!!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Jerri,
      Sounds familiar – like my own struggles with deviated septum and chronic rhino-sinusitis (CRS), despite regular saline nasal rinses. I finally rid myself of my CRS by adding Manuka honey to my saline nasal rinses; there was a short period when I was also adding a few drops of baby shampoo to the rinses in order to break up the biofilm. Yes – pseudomonas is common in CRS, and pseudomonas is a great biofilm-former, very difficult to eradicate. Especially if you have had surgery: the inevitable scarring (even if the surgery is performed perfectly) results in abnormal muco-ciliary clearance. Tobramycin nebs are one way to tackle the problem, but you should be aware of the potential toxicity of tobramycin – ask your doc. It can be effective against pseudomonas, and is more commonly used to treat pseudomonas infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Also consider adding Xylitol to your nasal rinses. It provides 2 benefits: first, it increases the osmolarity of the rinses (helps reduce swelling in the inflamed sinus tissues), and it also helps eliminate many pathogenic bacteria. Read this article on some of the benefits of Xylitol. You can find it, along with Manuka honey, on the boogordoctor’s Amazon Store, in the right hand column of this blog. Those are the normal Amazon prices: you pay the same whether you buy through that affiliate link, or any other Amazon link.
      Thanks so much for sharing, and please keep me updated.
      Best success!

      • Oh my gosh…. I just googled the drug, and The toxicity potential is a show stopper for me!!!! :(. I can’t, in good conscious, continue this treatment and take a risk I’ll lose my hearing or my kidneys!!! I’m so bummed.. I’ve only done 3 treatments, so maybe I have a head start on eradicating this but, but no more…

        On the flip side, my honey ordered from your site arrived today and I’ll get baby shampoo tomorrow. Do you do the honey treatment daily? And if so, for how many days? And I’ll order the Xylitol next.

        Thank you Dr.Faust

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Yes. Tobra, like all pharmaceuticals (and most “natural supplements,” too) has significant toxicity. Unlike most things, though, Tobramycin can be toxic at the therapeutic dose – called a narrow “therapeutic index,” meaning the difference between a therapeutic dose and a toxic dose is narrow. Tragically, there are people for whom Tobra makes sense: life-threatening pseudomonas infection in child with cystic fibrosis, for example. Please keep me updated on how you’re doing.

      • Thank you doctor for reminding me of this protocol. I don’t think I gave either products enough of a chance last year. I will try the manuka honey, baby shampoo, and xylitol at the same time.

  23. Hi, I got a cold about a week ago and developed ear pain as well as a feeling of pressure in my head. I felt like my brain was swollen, this was accompanied by a cough as well as shortage of breath and wheezing, it seems like I’ve also developed an eye infection. My eye first became swollen and red and afterwards white stuff started coming out of my eye and my eye is in pain and is a little bit drooped. I wake up with my eye shut and crusty. I went into a walk in clinic yesterday and the Doctor hardly listened to me with all my symptoms, I felt like I was dying and he actually told me I just have a cold and to go home and take some Tylenol. I told him I feel like I’m dying and he finally decided to do an X – ray. He prescribed me antibiotics for sinusitis but he never checked my eye or my chest. I still have this chest pain and my eye still seems infected. Will these symptoms go away as I continue to take antibiotics? I discovered I had a nail polyp 4 years ago, it could have been due to allergies (I have many) or the apartment I lived in (basement apartment) which had mold.
    Should I go back and see a Doctor for my chest pain, shortage of breath and wheezing, and also for my eye? Or should I continue to take the antibiotics and wait to see if these symptoms dissappear? I started the antibiotics 2 days ago.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Wow, Zaina,
      Chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and eye troubles are all good reasons to see your doctor – any one of them, but since you are experiencing all of these, definitely see your doctor.

  24. Hi My son started complaining of pain in his eyes about four days ago. He had some double vision and sensitivity to light. At the time he was recommend antibiotic eye drops. Then yesterday he woke up with a swollen eye. The Dr (we called two and nobody answered then both called back and said the same thing) recommended antibiotics (Augmentin). Later that evening he complained about leg cramps in upper leg and then nausea. Today his eye is more swollen than yesterday and he still complains of leg cramp and pain. Do you have any advice? I am worried the Dr’s are not taking this seriously enough.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Tat,
      I will tell you what I do when I’m frustrated that doctors don’t seem to be listening – get another opinion: ask around. Swelling of the eye(s) can be a serious problem. Consider visiting an urgent care.
      Thank you for visiting, and please keep me updated on what happens.

      • Hi I am sorry I did not reply sooner. We took my son to the most trusted Dr we know. He said it was an eye infection and did not feel it was necessary to have a scan to put him through any unnecessary radiation. He was right. The medication we gave worked better than the other meds and I was so relieved. I would rather over react and be safe then under estimate something if it is serious. My father had to have a drill to the roof of his mouth because of sinus issues and always said it was the most painful thing he ever had to go through. Thank you for your support and reply to my queries.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Congratulations!! Glad to hear that things worked out well for your boy! And thanks for the update :)

    • Oh my goodness. I am commenting on a lot of these posts. PLEASE look up : toxic mold exposure. ( I sound crazy because no doctors believed me until recently). Symptoms of mold exposure..(even if you cannot see it, it can be there, it can be in your home, in schools, anywhere that your child spends a lot of time in.)
      My daughter has been sick for over 5 years and this is exactly what she has/had and WORSE..she has so many symptoms it’s terrible. I love this site and Dr Faust has great info.
      My entire family is ill from hidden toxic mold in the crawlspace of our rented home.
      My youngest daughter is VERY ill and had a lot of fungal infections and I won’t go into detail of the rest.
      If your lil man keeps getting these symptoms, even every few weeks or months, PLEASE have your doctor test him for mycotoxins in his urine. It needs to be treated right away because it leads to so much more, it effects their entire body systems, which my poor sweet girl is going through right now. The thing that sparked my attention is the eyes, the sensitivity , leg cramps, nausea. Please believe me . This is scary. The air quality that our sweet children are breathing is not always the best and we don’t always know. Their immune systems are not developed yet and cannot always fight toxins,infections, especially if they are missing a certain gene in their body. Antibiotics and steroids are not good for fungal infections . I hope your sweet little boy is ok.

      • I am not a doctor. This is just my advice from what I have learned this past year and I am still learning. You never give up on your kids and their health. I just want everyone to be ok and I never knew about mold/mycotoxins,etc…It causes a LOT of things, especially chronic illness.

      • Thanks Tin, a mold infestation is what lead me to google these symtpoms and what brought me to this site. Funnily enough, I find your comment. I’m having vague sinus problems after a lifetime of no sinus issues after fleeing a mold house. Doing the Mycotoxin testing etc with a mold specialist next. Hopefully symptoms will just abate now that I’m out of there.
        Your post is old, but I hope you see this, and I hope your family is well.

  25. In my CT scan of sinuses the impression is—Sinonasal polyposis involving the right frontal sinus, maxillary sinus, ethmoid sinus and right nasal cavity with obstructed frontonasal recess OM complex and sphenoethmoidal recess. Hyperattenuating areas may suggest allergic fungal sinusitis. The doctors are suggesting endoscopic surgery of sinuses for this. Should I go for surgery or not. I have a fear of injury to optic nerve during surgery. So should I go for it or not.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Priyanka,
      I’m sorry, but that’s not a decision I can make for you. And without examining you, hearing your complete history, and reviewing your lab results and imaging studies, I can’t even comment or provide an opinion. The advice I DO have for you is to find a physician with whom you feel safe; someone who listens to you and includes you in the assessment; and then make your own best decision. The diagnoses that you describe are serious ailments, and warrant your full effort to understand all of the anatomy and pathophysiology involved. Both of your choices – surgery or no surgery (inaction) – have significant potential adverse outcomes. I wish you the very best success. Please do keep me informed.

  26. I have been Doctoring with sinus for a year or more now, recently my platelets showed a high reading so my Dr. sent me to a Hemotogist who put me thru a lot of testing blood xray, skelter Survey now he wants a MRI said he found a lesion on my Survey test, he thought I had Mutilple Myeloma at first but then said my M spike was just slightly raised now he thinks this is all caused by my allergies and sinus infections that reoccur often, Also been to A ENT Dr who agrees with him and did a series of tests also said I should go back on Allergy shots now I am worried about this lesion that showed it that even a possiblity it could be sinus caused or my allergy ?also have asthma.

  27. Hello doctor. Recently I had small painless lump in the mouth n did an opg. In it it says I have polypidial soft tissue in right maxillary sinus. My doc says it needs surgery. I n scared very badly. Is it life threatening. I have no pains as above u have mentioned. Plz help me. Plz

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Sinus polypoid tissue is not life-threatening; If you do not have symptoms, it may be reasonable to simply wait. My best advice: when someone tells you that you need surgery, get another expert opinion. Thank you for visiting and for sharing!

  28. anand Subbiah says:

    Hi Doctor,
    About a month back I had cold which eventually become sinusitis (Maxillary). I am taking antibiotics prescribed by a physician and the sputum seems to reduced more. My problem here is that about 1.5 cm above, from the base of the right nose where the nose and cheek meets, I feel like there is a small lump, especially when I try to swallow hard making the drain comes to throat. The particular drain point is paining and irritating too. Kindly advise. Thank you. :)

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      I wish I could assess patients over the internet. Sounds like it’s time to see a physician about this.

  29. I have chronic inflammation that is diagnosed as vasomotor rhinitis. Later I developed cysts in both maxillary and sphenoid (complaints of headache, fatigue, dizziness, pain bending over, pressure, facial flushing, past dental abscess). The doctor said to keep trying OTC medical options until I went back complaining of foul post nasal drip unilaterally. I did ten days of cefuroxime and my primary says no more- see the ENT…. So I just had another CT scan because this drip came back. I am told now that there is infection in the sphenoid sinus. In the past I have noticed that I gain tons of energy upon taking amox/clav or clindamycin (dental procedures), so I am wondering if I might have anaerobic bacteria hiding in the sphenoid sinus. I am to start a quinolone but not too excited about the black box (I have some ortho issues already and don’t like the fact that they don’t know the mechanism behind the collagen degradation). Additionally, I just started a workout program and I don’t want to stop. Would you recommend to your patient that they take the quinolone? Is the sphenoid infection common? How do I prevent it from coming back?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Sounds miserable! But you must already know that I can’t help: there’s no way that I can provide medical advice over the internet – no doctor-patient relationship; no ability to get a detailed medical history or perform a thorough head & neck exam. Sorry.
      But I can answer a couple questions: Quinolones are a powerful antibiotic, and they are my go-to antibiotic of choice for my own acute exacerbations of my chronic sinusitis. They are not for children, except under extraordinary circumstances. Sphenoid infections are uncommon – fortunately – because a sphenoid infection has a risk of more serious side effects: things like brain abscess or meningitis. If you are experiencing recurring sinus infections – especially sphenoid sinusitis – you should look into “balloon sinuplasty.” Balloon sinuplasty is a relatively less invasive, less-destructive sinus surgery. It still usually requires a general anesthetic, it is relatively quick, with minimal risk of scarring the sinus openings shut again. In my experience, there are many advantages of balloon sinuplasty over traditional sinus surgery. But you will want to find a sinus expert that you trust and who can help guide you through those decisions.
      Tanks so much for sharing your experience here: I hope you will return to keep me updated on how things go for you.

      • I should note that the one time I had clindamycin IV in ER, I couldn’t believe how great I felt the next day. That would be my motivation for balloon sinuplasty…. a definite consideration.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Yeah … relieving a sinus infection can make you feel like a million bucks! Studies have been done that compared the “quality of life” between people with various diseases – some really debilitating things like heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, things like that. Guess who “won” that comparison? Those with chronic sinusitis – they were rated as having the greatest negative impact on their quality of life.

  30. Heather says:

    I am having a CT tomorrow because of facial pain and what someone above described as nerve ending sensation between my nose and cheek area. When I breathe I can feel the air dry the back upper part of my throat so I am sure hee are some sinus issues. My question is can sore lymph nodes in the back of the neck also be related and should I convey this to my Dr or would it be non related?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Heather,
      “Sore lymph nodes in the neck” are usually the result of inflammation in the head and neck. And yes: inflammation of your sinuses can definitely cause those symptoms. Best success with your CT and follow up.
      Thanks for visiting.

  31. Dear Mr Russel,
    My 4 years old son had a foreign body (a small piece of mattress from pillow) in his nose for months. For the time duration, he complained of his nose all the times, I took him to visit a doctor who did not see anything in his nose. His nose had a terrible smell for the duration and the doctor did not have any explanation for the smell bur prescribed antibiotics. After several months of trying to blow his nose, the tissue as big as his tomb fell out, before this we began to notice he was having blank episode whereby he seem not to notice his surrounding, but most times he will answer to the call of his name in the middle of the absence.
    On visiting the doctor before the tissue fell out, that is, when the episode started, he was asked to go through an eeg test and he was diagnosed to having mild epilepsy, and was prescribed Sodium Valproate. He has taken this medication for over one year and there is no improvement but instead the seizure persisted as he took the medication.
    I feel the blocked nose and the mucus in his nose for so long must have caused some abnormalities, the doctors don’t want to relate the absence with the tissue or sponge he had in his nose for months or even up to a year. I don’t know who to talk to, Please help.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Paul,
      Thank you for visiting and for sharing.
      You have access to some outstanding physicians in England. Please direct your questions to them, because I can’t examine your son. I have treated many children with foreign bodies they had placed in their noses – many had been there for months or years! Children often find upholstery foam while crawling around on the floor, reaching up under chairs and sofas. It always ends up a smelly infected mess. However, removal (often requires a general anesthetic) cures the problem. Please see a physician there.
      Thanks again for visiting.

  32. Hello!
    I have one cyst in the left maxilary sinus and another one in the right sphenoidal sinus.
    I have order everything you suggested and have already start with the baby shampoo in neti pot.

    I have noticed that my symptoms aré worse. My left nostril gets clogged and the allergy symptoms and sneezing aré worse.
    Could you please tell me if This IS normal??
    Do things get worse before ímproving?
    My half left face feels numb. The ENT has said everything IS Ok so I have an appointment with a Maxilo facial surgeon in 2 days….
    Thank you

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Marta,

      My apologies for the delayed reply: No, things should gradually improve when doing regular nasal saline rinses.
      Please do keep me updated, and best success!

  33. i have a cousin who is seriously ill right now. he developed an abscess on his forehead in 2011 and was sent to the hospital to have it removed and this was done successfully because it healed but apparently inside the forehead it did not. a CT scan was done on monday and doctors say the abscess did not heal and the infection bored 3 holes into his skull and inside his forehead its full of pus. he tested positive for meningitis. his eyes are swollen , he doesnt open them. he cant talk, he is in pain. he has been like this for a week now. Doctor please, is there a way to treat this condition? Today he is seeing a neurologist. we are all devastated.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:


      So sorry to hear about your cousin.
      Sinus disease is common, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.
      Wishing him the best success.

  34. Hello,
    For the last few months I’ve been having chronic hives all over my body and swollen lips and eyes atleast every 3 days. Recently I’ve also got huge, hard lumps on my forehead and a few in my scalp. Googling this sent me here. Could this be my sinuses? My doctor just keeps prescribing my Zyrtec. Which doesn’t work at all.

  35. Hello Dr,

    I am having symptoms that I am becoming increasingly concerned about. Apologies for the long story, but here goes:

    On Sept 5th, I had 3 wisdom teeth along with 2 molars removed that I eventually plan to have dental implants placed in. I was put on Amoxicillin and Ibuprofen, as well as Norco which I only took a dose or two of. 3 days after, I started to experience some throat soreness and felt swollen around my right tonsil (I’ve had past tonsil infections and they are permanently enlarged) so I called over to the dentist who changed me to clindamycin and a medrol pack. I finished both, and the next day after finishing the medrol pack I noticed I woke up in a pool of sweat from my head and the back of my neck. I was experiencing intermittent chills, and clammy episodes and started to feel facial flushing across my nose and on my forehead and started to taste pus in the right upper area in the back of my throat. I went to dentists office and told him what was going on. He looked at the tooth extraction sites and said everything looked fine. He pulled the stitches and suggested I follow up with my PCP, so the next day I did. I told her all my symptoms and she said it sounds like I am fighting something off. She looked at my tonsils and my ears and she said it looks overall fine. She prescribed Augmentin x 14days. Despite taking amoxicillin x 3 days, clindamycin x 7 days, and now augmenting x 12 days, I feel zero improvement and actually am now feeling worse. Last wednesday evening, I noticed my distance vision in my left eye is getting blurry, and it has been gradually been getting worse. Also that night, I felt by far the worst nasal congestion I have ever experienced across the bridge of my nose – I thought I was about to start bleeding. I heard a tiny little pop in that area and felt more strange sensations towards the back of my head. The next two days I started to experience pain in the back of my head in two very distinct areas on both sides on the bottom of my head, the both feel like about a finger or two wide.

    This past Friday the left eye blurriness and back of headache got worse, so I made another appointment with a nurse practitioner as my Dr was not available. She ordered a CT sinus and referred me to ENT, who I just saw today. I also had the CT today.

    Overall, my pain is getting worse and involving more areas of my head. My night sweats and daytime sweating and clammy episodes are getting worse, I now feel nausea. I don’t know if this is helpful to mention, but I notice my sweating is particularly from my head and the back of my neck, not all over my body. However, throughout this whole ordeal I have never spiked a fever. I have definitely felt intense heat across my face and now more areas of my head, but never had a fever. So I saw the ENT today, who didn’t seem concerned about what I am reporting. He said to continue the Augmentin, start a flonase nasal inhaler, and he will call me tomorrow with my CT results.

    A couple of things:
    1. I had a mild seemingly viral respiratory infection a few weeks before my tooth extraction. I had some tiredness, a few days of a runny nose, and it went away.

    2. In April of this year, I had very similar symptoms, though nowhere near as bad as it is now. I started to experience some heart palpitations and dizziness, so I went to the ER. The evaluated me from a cardiac perspective, did a gallbladder ultrasound, kept me overnight for monitoring and an echo stress test, then discharged me the next day as there was nothing they could find. This was when I first started to experience the distance vision loss in my L eye. After this first episode, I never regained the L eye distance vision, and now it is getting worse.

    I really don’t know what to ask at this point. My symptoms are getting worse, I am feeling weakness in my left leg, nausea, and I feel a little mental confusion right now. I went to ER in April and was basically sorta treated like I was crazy by the staff, and I am worried I will not be taken seriously now. My plan is to at least stick it out for the night tonight until the Dr calls tomorrow with the test results, but I feel like I am ready to go back to the ER as I am seriously worried about what is going on. I guess I’m just wondering at this point is it reasonable to start thinking about going to ER?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      With a medical history that complicated, I always suspect underlying pathology that has not yet been address, is perhaps unknown to you or your doctors. That is, you may have an underlying systemic problem like “leaky gut” or a metabolic issue. In cases like yours, I urge people to consider visiting a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). They will evaluate the whole person, and not simply treat a diagnosis. When dealing with my own chronic rhino-sinusitis, it was my ND that helped put an end to the misery and struggle.
      Thank you for sharing. Best success.

      • Hi Dr,

        Thank you for your reply. Just a quick update – I finished the augmentin 14 days last week and actually started to feel better, but since the last two days my symptoms are returning. I informed my ENT and he put me back on clindamycin 4x/day for 10 days and stated he wanted me to follow up when I am done with this round of antibiotics.

        Regarding the CT sinus, the ENT office called me back and told me that I have a mild case of L sided sinusitis. I really had a hard time accepting that this is only “mild” as the symptoms I have had over the past month: fatigue, nausea, chills/sweats, vision disturbances, headaches, taste of pus in mouth, have been very difficult to deal with and had a significant impact on my daily life. Even though I have never spiked a temp since this has started, this is by no means a mild infection for me.

        This was my CT sinus results:
        Evaluation for abscess is limited on this noncontrast study.
        Extraction sockets in the upper and lower jaw. No associated abnormal soft tissue or fluid collection. (this was regarding the teeth I had extracted)
        The nasal septum is in the midline. Septations in both maxillary sinuses. Polypoidal mucosal thickening in both maxillary sinuses, more pronounced on the left. Patchy mucosal thickening in the right ethmoid air cells. Minimal mucosal thickening in the sphenoid sinus. Minimal mucosal thickening in the left frontal sinus and left frontal recess.
        Paradoxical right middle turbinate. Small left concha bullosa. Inferior turbinates are normal.
        Right maxillary ostium is patent while the left is obstructed
        Mild prominence of the palatine tonsils.
        Orbital soft tissues are normal.

        For now the plan is to continue with the Clindamycin, flonase, netipot and follow up with ENT at the end of next week. I do know that clindamycin is a strong antibiotic, but I feel that I might have had a better response with the Augmentin. Hopefully this will help, but at this point I am skeptical. I felt better taking oral antibiotics, but I cannot continue to take them forever.

        I will definitely take up your suggestion to see a ND. Although I think I had improvement on oral antibiotics, I feel like my symptoms came back once I stopped and I don’t think it’s realistic to just continue taking oral antibiotics indefinitely. I also learned that there are chiropractors who perform sinus manipulation exercises, so this is something else I’d like to look into.

        Thank you for taking time out to help a bunch of internet strangers.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:


          Thanks again for sharing. We all learn from each other … the value of a community like this :)

          The “paradoxical middle turbinate” can be a problem – an anatomic variation that can contribute to a physiological problem (can affect muco-ciliary clearance flow); the left concha bullosa may be contributing to the left maxillary ostium obstruction.

          Yes, I always felt better during the antibiotics, but the acute exacerbation of my sinusitis would flare up within a week or two after completing the antibiotics. That’s just treating a symptom, not the underlying cause. The chiropractors have some interesting remedies for sinus problems, and I fully support their approach. In my experience, the ND’s provide more of a ‘big picture’ overview, or whole-istic, approach to the whole patient. Of course, not all are as amazing as the ND’s that I know personally through my work with AIHM (AIHM.org), but I’ve been pretty impressed.

          Thanks again for sharing. And best success!

        • Hi, i was wondering how you went on with your sinus issues, mine started exactly the same way about 3 years ago, and it went like this: i had a cold a week before my 30th birthday, it turned into a sinus infection, stupidly i took the ammoxycillin i had stored in the cupboard for the infection which i thought helped and it seemed to go away.

          Within the next couple of weeks i started with a peppery bitter taste top left of my mouth which didn’t go away, i started to get alarmed and visit the dentist, she did xrays and confirmed that root canals have chronic abscess both sides and they would have to be removed, i had teeth both sides extracted and was given more antibiotics, bearing in mind this was now my 3rd course and still not feeling any better and start to come down with strange fever like sweats with no temperature and swollen glands in my throat, pain in left side, pain in eyes, post nasal drip, distortion in nose, pain in teeth, jaw and face, ringing in my ears, weakness in my left arm, constant stomach cramps, night sweats, migraines, thrush in mouth, athletes foot and thick skin on feet, period pain/cramps/bleeding, lower back pain, cystitis, bad skin and more to the point i though fibromyalgia had developed the list goes on, 2 visits to A&E, 2 visits to emergency doctors, 10 visitis to GP, 3 visits to ENT, 3 visits to jaw specialist all still ongoing, ct scans showed only 10% infection in sinuses and that was in the summer, july to be exact 2 years ago, it returns to a bearable state in the summer, nasal sprays and constant fungal infections. Then autumn comes and bang i’m back to square 1.

          So i come of all meds and take matters into my own hands last year, no more antibiotics and strong nasal drops incase i get really bad. I started on hi probiotic diet, 10billion probiotic pills and natural yoghurt with honey for breakfast, start adding a little bicarbonate of soda to your diet and also gave up smoking, after 2-3 weeks i start to feel amazing, no stomach ache, no pain, no thrush, no night sweats, sinuses bearable, jaw pain stops along with bad taste in mouth lost weight by cutting out sugar, better bowl function, my blame for it all is the 6 courses of antibiotics to treat mild sinus infection which in turn made my body out of balance and fungus takes over which is in fact the pinnacle of bad health, they say cancers live in fungus bodies, eliminate the fungus now and feel better, also use sea salt and iodine rinses for sinus infection as soon as you start to feel blocked.

          I felt the onset of sinus infection in autumn after having 6 good months from March, slowly it turned into bacterial sinusitis and the bad taste returned along with nasal drip, pain behind eyes and normal sinus problems, but no antibiotics and just rest and plenty of self tlc and rinses and it will go away, i have been fungus free since the probiotics which i stayed on for 3 months, don’t have nothing of the doctor for this e’g nystatin, or them tablets you take everyday as it damages the kidneys and they don’t work, my advice is fungus is so hard to get rid of and causes so much damage including the leaky gut syndrome its worth being tested for it, over all in the summer i am 98% better, in winter i am after 3 years 90% better than i have been by staying away from the doctor.

          Sorry for the sermon but if i thought i was helping somebody by stressing the importance of what fungus can do to the body and how bad it can be can be so beneficial to a person and if you do feel better from it let me know xx

          • Also like to add, the reason people may relapse after taking antibiotics is that the fungus tricks the body into feeling like it has an infection so you take more antibiotics, thus giving the fungus an environment to thrive which is very clever, bear this in mind you DON’T NEED antibiotics for sinus infection and your doctor will always give you more.

          • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

            Agreed: antibiotics wipe out beneficial bacteria in our microbiome, resulting in a terrible imbalance that allows for both fungal overgrowth and pathogenic bacteria to move in and set up home. It is very important to help repopulate your microbiome with beneficial microoganisms if you have been on antibiotics: take a daily probiotic.

            And note that if you take probiotics in capsule, powder, or liquid form, most of it will be killed by your stomach acid. In order for most of the probiotics to reach the small intestine, where they can bind to receptors on the “gut-associated lymphoid tissue,” or GALT, the probiotics need to be “enteric coated.”

            There is only one brand of enteric-coated probiotics that I know of: Integrated Therapeutics Probiotic Pearls. That is the one that I take personally (my family, too). Here is the link to buy: http://www.boogordoctor.com/?s=probiotic&post_type=product

            Thanks so much for sharing, and best success!

          • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

            Hi Andrea,
            Thanks for pitching in and sharing!

        • Read on fungus and how it can mimic infection to make you take more antibiotics giving it an environment to survive and thrive and takeover your whole body, read on fungus as much as you can and try probiotics instead, its the antibiotics making you sick not the sinus infection it took me 3 years to realize this after 6 constant weeks of AB’S for sinuses they gave me 3 years of hell

  36. Kathleen Epstein says:

    Hi Monica K,

    All of the symptoms you listed both before and after your surgery could be due to exposure to environmental toxins, in particular, toxic mold from a water damaged building.

    It may be that your surgery has your immune system busy healing and so can no longer ward off the toxins in your environment that you are breathing in constantly.

    If you can, try leaving your environment for awhile to somewhere you can be sure has not been affeced by any water damage, even camping. Take as few of your belongings as possible and be sure to wash all fabric in the wash with either Borax or about 1/2c of Amonnia in addition to laundry soap.

    If your symptoms persist, you may have a fungal infection in your sinuses that will not respond to antibiotics. Your doctors may not be considering this as a possibility as few are aware of or avail themeseves to educate themselves on environmental toxins and the related chronic illnesses. They only treat the secondary illness, not even bothering to question why these illnesses were acquired. Most chronic illness is related to the person’s environment and does not just mysteriously appear out of nowhere for no reason.

    I was exposed to hidden toxic mold for 18 months in a very expensive rental home that appeared immaculate. The mold was inbetween the walls, under the flooring (carpeting just harbors a whole host of these ‘critters’ as well as covers up mold), and most damaging, living in the insulation and in particular, the insulation near the HVAC system which spread it all throughout the air of the entire house.

    I was fortuate to be tested and treated for this illness, and part of my treatment was to leave all of my belongings in storage and live in a new travel trailer in which I traveled to a different climate. I was doing great and feeling better than I had in years, so I returned home. Now, about a year later, I am as sick as I was (went back to my ‘stuff’…big mistake!) but this time, my sinuses are affected in a bad way.

    I have been using a nasal rinse with baby shampoo as well as Xyclear nasal spray with great results….until I go into or near a water damaged building. It is as if these critters communicate with each other and the ones still left in my sinuses invite those from my environment in and the result is massive Maxillary pain, stuffiness, gross icky mucus along with the brain fog, confusion, mood swings, inflammation of my gut in particular, and fatigue.

    I know that continued exposure will result in some serious secondary chronic illness at some point, including cancer. So, as I am trying to treat my sinus, I am getting rid of all my stuff and moving out to the middle of nowhere where there are no buildings to be damaged by water!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:


      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and wisdom! I agree completely: examining one’s environment and detoxifying – ridding or minimizing potential sources of mold or human-made toxins – can change your life!

      Best success to you. And thanks again for sharing.

    • Kathleen,

      Thank you for the response. This really does give me additional things to consider. I recently moved out of an apartment that I suspect had water damage from the bathroom area. There were cut outs in the walls of the bathroom and the building is very old. One thing I noticed is that I would sneeze so much while living there and I always wondered if there was something harmful in/around my apartment.

      You raise an interesting point with my immune system being busy fighting something off. For the last few months I noticed that when I went to the gym and worked out harder than usual I would have mild flu-like symptoms for a day or two afterwards. I have been working out for a few years now and would routinely push myself a bit every few weeks and this would not happen. When I noticed this I started wondering if my body really is busy fighting something off.

      I have had sinus issues since my late teens. For the past 10 years I was using a neti pot religiously. Unfortunately I stopped using my netipot a few months ago due to news stories of people who used them coming down with infections possibly due to contaminated water (I have also read the articles here that addressed these storie). I really regret stopping because I wonder if that may have contributed to the issues I’m having. I am now using it again – lesson learned! I will look into the nasal rinse with baby shampoo and the Xyclear too.

      Thank you for taking time to provide some suggestions. I wish you continued good health!

  37. as much as i could remember since i am a kid a have sinus allergy.. now i am 25 years old and my condition are getting worse. doctors (ENT) are just giving me antiobiotics nasal sprays and antihistamines. i dont see any improvement in my condition. i feel like im a walking zombie i always feel dizzy sometimes headache,fatigue etc. i am kinda frustrated because i cant focus when im studying. i also quit my work because of this condition. i am a nurse by profession and i have tried all medications given by a doctor to me.. NOTHING works for me:(

  38. i had a septoplasty done almost 8 months ago, and I was fine in the begin. But not i cant breathe through my nose properly at all. I saw my ENT and he said I had enlarged turbinates and gave me a spray to use to bring down the swelling. The spray hasn’t done anything for me and I have even gone to see an allergist who also put me on pills which have not done much. The last four months have been like hell. I am extremely tired all the time, have headaches and just recently my vision has started to get blurry. I went to see my eye doctor and she said my eyes are healthy. I have also gotten all my blood work done and everything has come back fine. I have a feeling this is due to some kind of sinus problem since I tested positive for allergies to dust mites and pollen. Don’t know whats going on….

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Sunny,

      The symptoms that you describe can result from many underlying causes, and are usually the result of general or systemic imbalances. With those symptoms, you should see your physician – a generalist or naturopath, in addition to your ENT.

      Thank you for taking time to share, and please keep me updated.

  39. Hello, I am 54 and have chronic sinus problems always have. Along with strep throat, bronchitis, in 2005 I was in a car accident Which caused severe whiplash. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2006, any way in 2006 I acquired a severe MRSA infection from working at hospital. It took 8 months. Many antibiotics and finally surgery to treat. In meantime I had severe right ear infection. Dr gave me antibiotics, cleared up but returned in 2008, now looking at old Mri’s I see right side mastoid with fluid signal in air cells. Follow up in early 2007 showed enhancement. In 2007 ear infection along with severe swelling behind ear returned. (Along with chronic swollen lymph nodes in neck for over 35 yrs off and on, )But treated again with antibiotics, and went away. My question is should I follow up on this with another Mri ? In 2005 I had cervical Mri’s which showed cervical multi level stenious, but also mild prominence of nasopharyngeal soft tissue? Any advice as if it may be connected and should I take it serious? As my sinuses are worse than ever, but ears have been fine?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Rita,
      I can’t think of a great reason to repeat your MRI’s.
      You would probably benefit more by focusing on the underlying cause of chronic inflammation, altered immunity, etc. Food-based allergies or sensitivities? “Leaky-gut” issues? Environmental toxin exposure? Etc. Unfortunately I can’t provide more than general guidance without greater medical details and thorough exam, and none of that is going to happen online. You might consider finding a reputable naturopathic doctor (ND) who can help guide you through an elimination diet and other ways to focus on the underlying cause of problems.
      Thank you for taking time to share, and best success.

  40. Hello,

    Looking for your thoughts. My 8 year old started with a junky cough in Oct, no nasal congestion whatsoever. Ended up needing nebulizer (he has asthma) and 6 days of prednisone. Still seemed healthy other than cough. Went to primary to follow up and they thought he sounded like pre-pneumonia which he gets every year so they gave him a z-pack. That afternoon on 11/3 he began complaining of a headache and spiked a fever. I thought here is the pneumonia and blamed the body aches and headache on the fever.

    Fever was gone in 3 days but he was terrible, not bouncing back. No energy, constant headache on his left forehead above his eye. Still no nasal discharge, cough better. Had him back and forth to the primary for weeks, chest fine, blood work fine, checked for lyme, checked for other viruses. Thought maybe migraine so another round of prednisone did nothing. MRI revealed “moderate sinus disease” in the frontal sinuses. Which seemed weird to me with no nasal involvement. So prescribed 14 days of Augmentin. After 7 days literally no improvement so said to stop and see neurologist.

    Neurologist has no real idea. Tries naproxson, no relief. Tries Inodomethacin no relief. Meanwhile in Dec he gets an actual nasal cold with a fever and his pain is worse. I think maybe it is sinus and see an ENT. She says neti pot and 3 weeks of Augmentin. We do this religiously and no relief. Now he also develops a bald spot on same side of head and forehead is still painful and painful to touch. No swelling though, no redness.

    A complex Dr says I think it is Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome. The ENT meanwhile thinks he needs a CT Scan. He had this this week on day 66 of the constant foreheadache. She says the scan shows that after all treatment his frontal sinus are still completely blocked and recommends sinus surgery. We still have to meet her to go over options and see the scan.

    I keep thinking are we missing anything? He also had viral ITP 3 years ago. Are there cases of sinus disease pressing on a nerve that would cause the allodynia and the hair loss? I realize you can’t diagnose and he has seen plenty of good drs I’m just looking for your thoughts. THank you!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      MRI is NOT the appropriate imaging study for diagnosis of sinus disease!! Even short-term mild inflammation (like that associated with a common head-cold) will light up an MRI and it will be read as “sinusitis.” If there is any suspicion of sinus disease, CT scan is the “gold-standard” imaging study.

      However, following weeks of Augmentin and nasal rinses, I would be surprised if a sinus-CT scan showed any disease.

      Is there any family history of migraine? In my experience of seeing more than 30,000 pediatric patients, of those children referred to me for “sinus headache,” more of them had migraine as the cause than sinus disease.

      If my own child: I would look for the most “holistic” pediatric or family physician I could find – someone who would look hard for underlying issues, care for the whole person, not simply treat a diagnosis in their area of super-specialization.

      • Thanks so much for the reply… The Mri was done to rule out scary things like a tumor, clot because at the time he had no nasal symptoms. As I said the ct scan was done last week and did show that his frontal sinuses are completely blocked and full.

        No real history of migraines, his aunt had them but as a teen. I had them briefly in college but cut out msg.

        My plan was to go more holistic if the scan didn’t show anything but it apparently did… We are meeting the dr next week to go over options I think…thank you for your insight.

  41. Hi there does anyone have an explanation on my sinus problem. I will try to explain it the best I can. ok everyone with age has 2 lines that form from their nose to their mouth . ok outside those lines on me about a half inch wide there are 2 strips like a v upside down that is swollen enough to create another line outside of the half inch its nowhere near as deep as the normal lines everyone has but it is there and swollen .does anyone know what this is and what to do about it.Any advice will be much appreciated thank you

  42. pls I have been a victim of sinus for 10year now going from one hospital to another pls how can I help my self I am a father of five children and of 40years old I dont want to die young pls I NEED ADVICE on what to d, thanks.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      My advice: see your doctor. Soon. This is not a problem that will be solved over the internet.

  43. I just have a question, I don’t have insurance so a trip to the er has to be pretty important. I have had problems with my sinuses since 2012 or 2013. Recently I have a lump above my eyebrow directly where the frontal sinus cavity is and it is getting sore, actually pretty sore and causing a bad headache. I use afrin once every 12 hours to be able to breath from my right nostril cuz it’s always stuffy and continually drips down the back of my throat. I had a cleaning business but had to drop it bc the cat liter I had to clean up and some inscense would cause horrible headaches and irritate my sinuses. Do I need a dr or can I solve this myself, please it is getting to where my face is hurting down where my upper teeth and lower down in my face is hurting a little

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      It seems that you have answered the question yourself, Carmen: the problem is getting worse. Seems like you need to visit a doctor; the internet is not the place to solve this issue. Best success.

  44. D.Watson says:

    I have a 19th month old that has been recurrently I’ll for 7 months with a sinus infection.
    It started with an episode of tonsillitis and he had 8 days of Phenoxymethicillin and then 5 days of Ceflexin as he developed a cough. The thick green nasal discharge then started which was worse on waking as he lies face down in bed so it would drain out.
    The cough never fully cleared and he had Amoxicillin for a sinus infection and a high temperature. The cough persisted which was mainly worse at night and his chest was always clear so it was a post nasal drip.
    He then started to vomit after eating food and this lasted for 2 and a half weeks. We took him to the GP and he was admitted to hospital overnight. I outlined his sinus infection as a possible cause for the vomiting but they dismissed this and said he had a virus. He still continued with the nasal discharge. About 2 weeks later he then developed a rash on his face and some redness under one of his Lowe eye lid. He was having temperatures too. GP said he had an allergy to flowers in our house at the time and conjunctivitis but never gave him anything. We have since learner that was pre septal cellulitis around his eye. This got better on its own.
    He still continued with nasal discharge and a week and a half later he was given Amoxicillin by the GP as he still had a cough, temperature and he was losing his balance whilst walking (this was temporary and lasted an hour).
    During all of this his ears would also intermittently turn red although he never touched his ears as if to tell us they were painful.
    2 days after finishing the antibiotics he had a high temp (39) and I took him back to the GP who said no more antibiotics and just to give calpol and Ibuprofen.
    The following day he went to daycare and they telephoned us to say he his lips and hands had gone blue and he was shaking. We picked him up and he had lots of green discharge coming out of his eyes and we took him to hospital. They told us he may have pre septal cellulitis and sent us home with Chloramphenicol cream. They did an eye Sean. We then got chloramphenicol eye drops. Both his lower eye lids went red and swollen underneath. We saw an Opthalmology consultant who said to use the drops every 2 hours for a week. This also alleviated some of the nasal discharge. The swab result showed Heamophilus Influenzae (beta lactamase producer) so it was the resistant form. After competing 4 weeks of Chloramphenicol his nasal discharge and cough became worse and he had a week of Cefuroxime. He was brilliant on this and all his symptoms cleared. 4 days later his lower eye lids swelled, the nasal and eye discharge started again, so the microbiologist advised a 2 week course of Cefuroxime. He completed this and his symptoms slowly returned again and he had a temperature, Lowe eye lid swelling, coughing and an episode of vomiting due to all the nasal discharge dripping down his throat.
    ENT consultant did a nasal swab and bloods. ENT wanted to keep him on Cefuroxime for another 6 weeks but we did not want to do that so we saw another ENT who offered an adenoidectomy. Nasal swab also showed the resistant form of Heamophilus and all bloods were normal. He had another 1.5 weeks of Cefuroxime until the night before his surgery.
    His operation was successful but 2 days after the operation he had a high temperature, cough and thick green nasal discharge and was given Co-Amoxiclav for 1 week. A nasal swab taken during the surgery showed Heamophilus (betalactamase producer) and Moraxella Catteralis. Typing of the Haemophilis shows it to be non-cephalated but I am not sure what this means.
    5 days after completing this his temperature and symptoms retuned and he has just completed another weeks course of Co-Amoxiclav.
    The ENT consultant also mentioned a low dose 6 week course of Trimethoprim. 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off.
    I am very worried about what will happen in the next few days as I am not sure what we will do if his temperature and symptoms return as we really don’t want him having anymore antibiotics.
    I have tried saline nasal sprays but not had much success due to his young age. I have just started him on probiotics but I used to give him these daily prior to all of this starting.
    He has seen an immunologist who said his immune system is really good for his age and his Hib blood test was in the normal range.
    Please could you give me any suggestions as I am just so worried about him. I am not sure if he has a mould allergy or if he needs endoscopic sinus investigation.
    Many thanks from a very worried parent.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi DW:
      Your concern is clear in your note.
      I’m sorry that I can’t provide detailed medical advice for you over the internet. My best advice is to consider looking for a Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) there in the UK – specifically, an ND who specializes in caring for children. My own personal physician is a Naturopath. I have found them to be more holistic, meaning that they care for whole people, not simply treat a narrow diagnosis.
      I agree with using probiotics. Please note that most – perhaps 90% probiotics – are killed by stomach acid (that’s the main role of stomach acid, to kill bacteria, not to digest food, as many people believe). This means that 90% of what you pay for probiotics is being wasted, since the benefit of probiotics are only achieved when the probiotics reach the small intestine. That is where they interact with the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), and boost the immune system. For that to happen, “enteric-coated” probiotics are best. I only know of one source of enteric-coated probiotics: Integrative Therapeutics. Uncertain whether they are available in the UK, but check on Amazon UK.
      My only other advice is to consider food sensitivity or “food allergy.” You don’t mention whether your son is breast-fed or on formula; if on formula, consider sensitivity to ingredients as a source of chronic inflammation that may be contributing to his issues.
      Again, I’m sorry to be unable to help more, but honored that you have visited here and wish your son the best success. Please keep me updated.

  45. Hello,
    I am 30 years old and I’ve been having sinus issues for years now. Currently I am trying to eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise and it helps some, but I still find that the right side of my nose has a lot of post nasal drip. When I wake up in the morning this side is always stuffed and I have to do a little yoga or stretching to open up the airway. Do you know what the cause of this could be? My ENT could not find anything doing a nasal endoscopy.

    Thanks for reading, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi LB:
      Post-nasal-drip (pnd) is not abnormal; being aware of it is unusual, and suggests that nasal secretions are thicker than normal so that you become aware of the pnd. That suggests chronic inflammation – from environmental allergies, food sensitivities, or environmental irritants. It is reassuring that your ENT did not find anything scary on endoscopy. Now you’re left with options to decrease inflammation. The easiest thing to try is regular (daily or every other day) nasal saline rinses. That may seem odd if you are not familiar with saline rinsing, but since this issue is bothering you enough to seek online solutions, you may be to the point of trying this solution.
      Thank you for visiting and sharing!

      • Thank you Dr. Faust. I appreciate all of the information and will work on reducing the chronic inflammation. I was reading through your website and saw that you were an avid reader and that you mentioned back pain. I hope you don’t have these problems anymore, but I found this lady to help me a lot – Yoga with Adrienne on You tube.

        You don’t have to post this :) thanks again.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi LB:

          Thanks for that! My back pain is the result of a (very) rare, progressive spinal cord disease. I am familiar with Yoga with Adrienne. My own regimen includes daily workouts, followed by yoga, followed by meditation, along with a powerful assortment of anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements.

          Thanks for visiting, for your kind comments, and for sharing!

  46. Hello! So glad i found this site!I am 28 and i have been very healthy until december 2014.I got dizzy for the first time in my life and started having anxiety for the first time in my life.Found out i had iron deficiency anemia.After a week on iron i started feeling so good,and the 8th day i woke up with tinnnitus,dizziness, tingling head and neck,flushed face…i couldn’t even stay alone in the room,i would freak out. I still don’t know what started it all but i feel very weird since then,not myself at all.I started having icepick headaches,never had them before….and i just felt pressure in my head and stabbing pain in my neck.I kept asking doctors if all of this can be a sinus infection, all said no because i don’t have the traditional signs.I found out during this time i have a lot of cysts on my thyroid,and started going hypo in 3 months and it just feels like something doesn’t add up,eveyrthing went bad at the same time? Flash forward 3 weeks ago,ended up having an MRI… Showed ethmoid and shpenoid sinusitis.I took antibiotocs 2 times in my life, they weren’t even strong ones.Was put on Zinnat now for 10 days but didn’t help.I should start Avelox but i am wondering if i really ran out of safer options? I really don’t want to end up taking that antibiotic.I was also wonderirng if the way i feel is because of that sinusitis? Yesterday i also had a problem with my right eye( where the sinuses are most inflammed)my peripheral vision jusy felt off for. Half an hour or so,i also felt like fainting and my right hand also felt weird like a little bit ditached,like it was just half mine and floating a bit,i don’t know how to explain but that was probably because i am so overwhelmed with all these symptoms i never had before,i never even had a bad cold before…so i have no idea what is going on with me.I am sorry for the long comment but i would really appreciate any thoughts,about avelox,about other options,can acupuncture work? Could all of this have started from a bad bug? Can my thyroid be affected by what’s affecting my sinuses? Thank you and i hope your back gets better!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Sandra:

      First, MRI is NOT the imaging study to diagnose sinusitis. If there is any question, CT scan is the imaging modality of choice. Next, my strongest advice is to find a physician who will take the time to work with you to figure out what is going on. As I’ve reported here on this blog, my own personal physician is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) – they are trained to evaluate and treat the whole person, not to treat a diagnosis. Find a physician that will listen, someone you can trust and who will help guide your decisions.

      Sorry I don’t have detailed advice to offer. Thanks so much for visiting, for sharing, and best success!

      • Thank you for the answer! Unfortunately,i don’t think i can find that kind of doctor over here,not a good one anyway. I also went to a homeopath this week,he said everything started because i was taking contraceptives and my hormones went crazy,i believe that,but i also know, at the end of the day, i have a nasty infection and that needs to go, probably fast,i can’t wait weeks or months for homeopath treatment to take effect,if they will…he actually gave me something to take for 10 days,for the sinusitis,but i just don’t trust it enough to wait 10 days and see.I am just freaking out about Avelox side effects,but i should probably try and see… Thank you again,your patients are lucky to have you! :)

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Sorry to hear that, Sandra.
          I have resorted to taking Avelox myself. Sometimes, ya gots to do what ya gots to do. If that’s what it takes to get back on track, then it may be worth the risks.
          Thank you for your kind comments, and best success.

  47. Michelle Hornbeck says:

    I was searching google and found this site. Prayers for all that is affected. I have a question though and I’m not sure what to do. About a week ago I had a migraine the first one I have ever had. Out if the corner of my right eye I experienced bright squiggly lines followed by intense pain on the left side of my head. I have had a headache since. Very intense at times with numbness in my lower jawline in both sides. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and slot of pressure in my temples and cheeks. Could this all happen from Si us trouble? Thank you!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Oh, Michael:
      You introduce one of the most complex areas of head-and-neck medicine, the interplay between rhinitis, sinusitis, and migraine headaches. The fact is that the majority of “sinus” headaches are the result of migraine headaches in clinical studies performed at great medical centers (Mayo Clinic). Where things become really frustrating and challenging is when someone has rhinitis and/or sinusitis, and they have migraine headaches that are TRIGGERED by their rhinitis or sinusitis. Whoah … a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge!
      To answer your question, Yes: it’s all connected, and a sinus infection can be linked to sore throat and other head and neck complaints.
      My advice: find a physician who is familiar with migraine headaches, because that is the most common issue. Ask your GP about sinusitis problems; they may send you to an ENT doc.
      Thanks for sharing this difficult issue, and best success!

  48. Laura Rodgers says:


    I’m hoping that you can give me some advice on my situation.
    I have really bad teeth and am having them removed and getting dentures. There has been long standing infection and I have taken a ridiculous amount if anti-biotics.

    The thing that concerns me most is that everytime I have a tooth removed I get a very bad sinus infection usually followed by some sort of lung infection (?). I had my #3 tooth removed a week ago and am currently experiencing tremendous facial pressure, the right side of my face is numb upto and including my lower right eyelid. I experience periodic episodes of feeling extremely cold and then sweating and am completely exhausted and have vomited 3 times in the last 36hrs. I have been to the Dr/ER 3 times in the last week and have had my antibiotics changed twice. I have acquired some antibiotic resistance due to repetitive, long-term use.

    I am a single mother of two small boys, and f/t college student. I can’t afford to take time off and rest is hard to come by. However, functioning in this state is very difficult! I am set to get the remaining teeth removed, 11 of them, at the beginning of the summer.

    I am very afraid of what will happen following the extractions. I’m hoping that you could provide me with some insight as to why this happens (why does the infection get so much worse when the tooth is removed?), possible preventative measures that I can take before the extractions as well as any other advice that you can provide.

    Thank you!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Laura:

      By “really bad teeth” I am assuming you mean teeth with “dental carries” – basically, infected teeth. The symptoms that you describe can be related to infection, but also simply related to the inflammation resulting from tooth extraction: those inflammatory cytokines cause inflammation in all of the nearby nasal and sinus lining, causing sensation of pain and pressure as the lining becomes inflamed. It’s all connected, and all responds to the same inflammatory biochemicals.

      However: if you are experiencing fevers too, you should seek medical attention to rule out any infection in the bones where the teeth were extracted!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing. Please keep me updated.

  49. Aldridge says:

    My mother was diagnosed with severe sinusitis two months ago. All signs though indicate that the sinusitis is chronic. She had a surgery to clear the ethmoids and a stent was inserted in her left nostril to drain any remnants of pus. The discharge of pus has continued despite the surgery. We were advised to perform nasal irrigation at least thrice a day with sodium bicarbonate solution and also steam her. We did that diligently but with limited positive results. She continues to discharge pus through her nostrils and her breath is bad. She was put on courses of different antibiotics but the pus discharge continues. We persistently asked the ENT surgeon to take out the stent as we suspected it was blocked and most likely aggravating the infection by blocking drainage but he declined. In all this while she has complained of excruciating headaches and sleep depravation as a result. The headaches presented around her forehead mainly. Two days ago the area that presented with two swellings. We visited the ENT and he inserted a needle with a syringe in the swelling to try and ascertain if there was pus in the swelling! There was none. We did another CT-SCAN that revealed wearing away of the intercranial bone but the ENT could not relate this to her condition and he is still wondering what is causing this!!!! After visiting this site, we now understand that the swelling is an abscess that could have severe or fatal consequences if not dealt with urgently and aggressively including with immediate surgery. The stent too was removed and as we always suspected, it was blocked and we do not know for how long! It was a hindrance to drainage rather than the passage for pus that it was meant to be. We strongly believe it aggravated the spread of infection after the initial surgery. What advise can you gibe us doctor on how to deal with our situation going forward? Thank you

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:


      Yes, sinusitis is common, and usually managed without complications, but things can become dangerous quickly simply because of the location so near to vital structures (brain, eyes, major blood vessels and nerves).

      Unfortunately, I have no way of providing any truly useful advice over the internet, except to suggest getting to the highest-level academic hospital asap. Once there are complications arising from sinusitis, the risks are simply too great to leave things to community doctors who seldom deal with these issues. If this were my mother, or me, I would get to the very best academic, teaching-and-research hospital I could find, and soon.

      Sorry to hear about your experience, but appreciate you sharing here. Please keep me updated, and best success!

  50. Michael says:

    Hi Dr. Faust,

    I have been having problems with sinusitis for over a year, back and forwards to the doctors for medication, over the past few months I have developed a type of lump in the top corner of my eye socket next to the bridge of my nose, the pain feels like toothache, I give it a massage to make the swelling go down but appears to be a hole in the bone, I get a horrible smell when the swelling goes down, can you give me and advice on this.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      My advice: find a doctor who will listen and help figure out what is going on. Unfortunately, not something I can help with over the internet.

  51. Dr. I appreciated the information on your page here. Very interesting. I noticed, however, that when I clicked on several of the links on the bottom for further reading, I got 404s on articles on your site. Just an FYI.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Thanks, Tom. Yes, after a few years, a website can accumulate ‘broken links.’ I continue to work on this.

  52. What are the symptoms of Silent Sinus Syndrome? I have one eye that is smaller and seems to sit lower in the socket. This has become more noticeable over the last 12 months . I was not born with this. On that same side I experience frequent bloody noses and large blood clots . Just this last week I was sick again and ended up with an eye infection -on that side only. All my problems are on that left side of my face. I have had intermittent headaches for past 3 years but was diagnosed as migraine. Could all my symptoms be related to the sinus? I can’t breath out of the left side but assumed that was due to a deviated septum. I have had cauterizations on that side to stop bleeding but they are only temporary. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Marie,

      Silent Sinus Syndrome results from negative pressure – a vacuum – developing in a maxillary sinus cavity when the normal opening becomes obstructed. Yes, SSS can cause facial asymmetry, including eye changes. Nose bleeds and clots, along with the asymmetry, are reasons to see a specialist to rule out anything scarier!

      Thank you for visiting, and best success.

  53. Melinda says:

    I have never had any major sinus issues until my last pregnancy. During the 3rd trimester I suffered from severe sinus blockage. Everything I tried didn’t help. Then someone told me that I should try a nasal spray. My OB said that it was safe to take and so I did. It was a miracle, I could breathe. So I continued to take it the remainder of my pregnancy. To breathe or not to breathe. The answer was simple, I continued. Well now my son is 2 weeks old and I have been doing my best to get off of the spray. Have you ever heard of a company called Rhinostat? I am officially 10 days off the spray and can breathe, but not like I am used to. This is starting to cause major anxiety issues for me now. If you have heard of it, any ideas how well it has worked for people?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Melinda:
      It’s about time that someone came up with an effective treatment for rhinitis medicamentosa. I am not familiar with Rhinostat, so I have no opinion, either positive or negative. I can’t find much about them online, so it seems that the “jury is still out” regarding the effectiveness of their system.
      If you gain experience with Rhinostat, PLEASE leave a comment and share that experience.
      Best success!

  54. Luke Yancey says:

    I never knew that sinusitis could have such terrible effects on the body! My allergies are really strong and a lot of people have told me to be careful about getting it. Thankfully this hasn’t happened but I think I will go to the doctor and talk to him about my chances of getting it. Thanks for the information!

  55. Kristi fox says:

    I cured my blocked drainage overnight– don’t know how it works – but it works:

    I drank 4 cups of ginger/turmaric tea

    Manuka honey
    Squeeze of lemon

    Then dumped in way over the recommended
    Licorice extract
    GINKO extract
    Asian Ginseng extract

    BOOM. 24 hours later i was blowing out ALL KINDS of fun stuff. It was like night and day — I could BREATHE again. Didn’t even realize that was my problem (thought it was an adrenal issue) until I got it all out.

    Do it. It works

  56. Nadia shaker says:

    Hi dr, My 3 yr old son was diagnosed with orbital cellulitis, he had scans & surgery to drain the puss. He was put on iv for 2wks (in hospital) then another 2wks on Amoxollin antibiotic whilst at home. The eye puffiness is still there. It improved after surgery but not completely because his eye is still slightly puffy with abit of (bruise-like) under the eye. It’s been 5wks after surgery.. Is it normal to see the puffiness after this long?? His got a cold right now, does this flare up his eye seeming it’s all got to do with the sinus?? I’ve seen so many specialist, but nobody can help. His vision is fine, his been tested multiple times. It’s the slight bulging and the puffiness that concerns me???????

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Nadia:

      Yes, both the swelling and the discoloration following surgical draining of a peri-orbial abscess can take a looong time to dissipate. It is EXTREMELY rare for a child to develop a periorbital abscess a second time – in the absence of an underlying immunological anomaly. As long as he is not a bone-marrow transplant recipient or other organ recipient with taking the associated immuno-suppressing medications, he is likely to be fine.

      As long as the swelling / puffiness continues to resolve, great. If he develops fevers, any change in eyesight, or the swelling goes in the other direction (increasing), see his doctor immediately.

      Thanks so much for visiting and sharing, and best success!

  57. Hi Dr,
    In my late 40s, I have been suffering from sinus/otitis issues since my teen years and at the time my hearing became suddenly muffled/distorted.
    Audiogram never showed anything abnormal, with time and with multiple doctor visits I have managed to get the sinus issue under control (allergy/gastric reflux/keeping hydrated …) but never been able to find a proper diagnosis/explanation for the hearing issue.
    One doctor suggested eustachian tube disorder, but I did a new test with pressure measurements across the tube that did not show anything.
    Another ent asked for a CT scan for middle ear issues since I also had balance problems with ear infection in my teen years also but everything seems normal.
    The only abnormality is a large polyp in my left sphenoid that shows on both ct scan and mri.
    Question: can a sinus polyp cause such a muffled hearing issue?
    The hearing gets worse when I get seasonal allergy/cold and better when I go to a very dry climate but never goes away entirely. It is not a hearing loss just some sort of conductive hearing interference and very hard to explain to ENT and get their attention …
    Thanks in advance!

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Alain:

      Episodic “muffled hearing” in adults is usually the result of Eustachian tube dysfunction; your observation that it may be linked to seasonal allergy issues is consistent with Eustachian tube dysfunction as the cause. “Tests” for Eustachian tube function are notoriously inaccurate / unreliable.

      It would be very unlikely for a sphenoid sinus cyst or polyp to cause recurrent muffled hearing.

      Your ENT has very likely considered Meniere’s as the cause of episodic hearing loss, but (1) that would be detectable by audiogram and (2) you would have associated symptoms to confirm the diagnosis.

      I hope that is helpful. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Best success.

  58. Hi Dr.

    My name is lee from Thailand recently about 4 months ago i suffered from Migraine and now i thinks i also having sinus because mostly my migraine pain will be gone after taking medicine and will not come back for long time at the moment i am having pain on left side of my head and my left eye also in my tooth same on left side as doctors in Thailand are Totally shit because if i tell them i have sinus they will tell me that i only have migraine and give some antibiotics now i am going through this pain almost everyday i am taking GoFen tablets 400 MG 2 or 3 times a day

    Please advice me what should i do.

    Thanks and Best Regards


  59. Hi doctor faust

    I need some serious help please, ive now has a constant chronic sinus infection for 1 year and seven months, when i first went to the hospital my left eye was almost swelled shut and my face was in severe pain, i was given a mild antibiotic and pain meds. It has now been 1 year and 7 months, i have not done anything besides nose rinses, the doctors suggest a ct scan and prob a operation but that doesnt make sence to me, wouldnt that just maube help with symptoms and not treat the actual problem. My cousin had the ct scan and operation and his sinus infection got worse. I have no pain since the emergency room just non stop yellow/green mucus running from my nose and down my throat, maybe some pressure above my left eye sometimes, and inflamation in my nose. the infection is only on my left side. It has been 1 year and 7 months

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:


      I’m sorry to say that I can’t assess and treat over the internet.

      I assume that, since you are on this website, you have tried nasal saline rinses and the other considerations outlined here, but perhaps not?

      If you’ve been struggling with this for more than a year, you must find a physician with the necessary expertise to help you get healed!

  60. I really need your help Dr. Faust, i believe it started from a dental infection, i had the teeth pulled on my upper left side a few months after the sinus infection started. Im about to see my family doc in 10 days for allergy testing and antibiotics i guess, he to took a nose swab culture and was uppose to test for waht ever was most dominant but the secretary called me and there was no trace for staph, i questioned he because the culture was supposed to be done for what evr was most dominant not just staph, i dont understand, these people dont want to help. I have money i can pay for help i just dont know where to go

  61. I suffered a tbi last September 2015. I had a CT scan. Next day I had a seizure. From that point on I began to have headaches. Vision loss doctor said was probably due to nerve damage in left eye. Now for the last two months I have had extremely severe headaches, dizziness, vision cloudy, confusion, and trouble getting my words out right. I have some swelling on both sides of my head and down to jaw on left side. Teeth are all good. My headaches bounce from side to side or extreme pain in the top and back of the head. My left eye feels like it’s weighted down. These symptoms still exist after two weeks of antibiotics and steroids. My neurologist looked at CT scan from last year and said I had been suffering all this time with sinusitis. Can this last for a year. And if so with serious threats. I have not been pain free for over a year.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Connie:

      I know about chronic pain: BUMMER! If you didn’t have these headaches before your tbi, they are most likely related to your trauma, NOT ‘sinusitis.’ If anyone starts leading you down the path to “sinus surgery,” be very, very cautious. Understand that such surgery may not change your pain, and may add additional issues for you to deal with. Get a second opinion. And another one. Find a physician that you trust, who will educate you and be patient enough to work through all the options with you. Yes, that can be a challenge, but we’re talking about your health here.

      Thank you for sharing, and please keep me updated.

  62. Hi Dr Faust,
    I really would appreciate your insight on this matter.

    I had rhinoplasty five years ago, and after surgery I noticed severe pain in my right frontal sinus and over the right bridge of my nose temperature of 101 which when away after two weeks. I began to wonder that when the broke my nose there was some damage done to surrounding areas. I returned to see surgeon he said, he saw no issues The pain level is much less, but still some pain now when I move my head the right frontal sinus hurts and between the eyebrows more right side , I now have right dry eye, right swollen cheek , right eye seems to protrude slightly more than the left. right neck pain, I have had CAT scan no contrast and an MRI No contrast, It showed nothing.

    I recently read that these tests are useless without contrast, what is your opinion contrast or no contrast? In exploratory surgery have there been cases where problems are located, that did not appear on any studies done? Are there any specific type of specialist that I should see
    that work on complex cases?

    Symptoms’ flu like pressure in my head, lightheaded, dizzy, some wheezing at times, at times feels like a dream like state and low sodium levels When I press on the right frontal sinus it hurts
    This has disabled me I no longer drive or work I feel like I’m just waiting to die, so this can be over.

    I live in Portland, Or I have an MD and an ND my ND who had me on four months of ozone IV now wants me to do a PICC line with antibiotics. Of course I would like to locate the cause
    Thank you in advance, for answering my question.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Grace:
      Pain is a difficult, challenging issue, especially following trauma or surgery (“controlled trauma”). Unfortunately, there is no way to control, or even predict, how nerves will re-grow following surgery. Most people heal just fine, and have no long-term pain following surgery. However, in some people nerve re-growth can end up a little haywire, causing odd sensations or even lasting pain. That makes your own situation even more challenging to figure out. Pressure-sensitivity, or even sensitivity to light touch, can be the result of abnormal nerve healing after surgery; or can be a sign of chronic smoldering inflammation of the underlying bone (from sinusitis, for example).

      Regarding MRI: magnetic-resonance-imaging is great at distinguishing soft tissue changes and blood-flow in tissues, especially when using contrast. That makes MRI good for looking at tumors or tissue tears (like rotator-cuff injury, for example). MRI is pretty poor at imaging bony tissues. That means that it’s not great for looking at the paranasal sinuses – which are mostly air-filled cavities within bones of the skull. When patients are referred for sinusitis found on MRI’s, most ENT docs will automatically order a CT scan (usually without contrast).

      When looking for abscess, CT scan with contrast is great.

      I can offer the same advice I have given to my own patients: whenever you’re frustrated with results, seek another opinion. If you’re in Portland, you have access to some of the very best ENT docs in the world at OHSU. Consider giving them a call. And best success!

  63. Rebecca Crouser says:

    Dr. I am actually being treated for sinusitis but feel they are overlooking something that could ba major issue. I have a knot still at the lower inner corner of the sinus cavity under my right check extending almost to the middle of my nose. My teeth do not hurt and all of the other swelling and pain has dissipated. I have 3 days left on a ten day antibiotic treatment and yes I have already been back to my doctor and was told wait to see. After reading about bone infection and abscesses should I get a second opinion.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      WhenEVER you have doubts, it is reasonable to seek another opinion. I can only offer this advice (advice I often gave my own patients and their parents): if you have questions that are not being answered by your doctors, get another opinion. And another after that, if necessary. Your doctors should be reassuring you; should be answering all of your questions; and you should feel as though they are truly your child’s advocate for optimal health. If not, keep looking.

  64. Hello doc! I had a ct scan last 2013 and found out that there was an abscess for about the size of one peso coin. I felt that painful feeling on my head and face right after my molar tooth removal surgery. Is it possible that the dental surgery caused the abscess on my sphenoid sinus? Then my doctor ent gave me antibiotic for three months and then i had a ct scan again and the abscess was still there same size then he gave me antibiotic afain for one month then had a ct scan again but then again the abscess is still there. So he advised us that i should go a surgery but i was afraid because hes going to make a hole on my skull so i did not go back to him. After that i didnt feel anything painful i just didnt drink cold water i take a bath with lukewarm water. I felt better from then on. I believed that God can make miracles and i believed He did that to me. But just this year i went back to my doctor because i felt something painful in my nose around my eyes my gums. He said i have polyps on my right nose. So he gave me again antibiotic and antihistamine since costeroid is not applicable to me because i had a palpitation when i was given spray costeroid.

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Diana:
      If you have a reaction to spray nasal steroids, saline nasal rinses are your last remaining non-surgical option. Antibiotics will not reduce nasal polyps. Nasal polyps form due to chronic inflammation – irritation of the lining of the nose and sinuses. Saline rinses will help rinse away whatever is the irritating agent: particulate pollutants; gaseous pollutants (VOCs); viruses; bacteria; mold spore … whatever. My advice: do daily rinses to keep your nose clean and avoid surgery for as long as possible.
      Thanks for sharing, and best success!

  65. Elizabeth Perez says:

    My husband had an abscessed tooth that was pulled but he continued to have sinus issues. After a ct scan revealed he had an infection on the right side, his doctor decided he should have surgery.

    He had the surgery on the 18th and the doctor said the infection was pretty extensive. After surgery he was in the expected amount of pain with slight swelling. With the painkillers and antibiotics, he seemed as comfortable as he could be until this morning. He woke up with pain above his right eye and saying his forehead was extremely sensitive. He took a nap with his head elevated and has rolled over slightly onto his right side. When he woke up his eye was swollen shit so I called his doctor right away.

    His doctor asked us to come in right away. He examined him and there is no double vision and he had complete movement of his eye. He had pain while looking up. His doctor prescribed steroids to help with the swelling. He has a follow up appointment tomorrow morning but I feel like the swelling was so sudden and him having pain while moving his eye is more serious than his doctor thinks. I’m not necessarily doubting his doctor, but I’m rather concerned it is a more serious condition. What do you think?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Elizabeth:
      Time for another opinion – not on the internet, but in person.

      • Elizabeth Perez says:

        I stumbled across your page looking for information on sinus surgeries. I explained what was going on to you because I wanted your opinion on the matter. I appreciate you suggesting I seek another opinion but you seem to have given others a much more thorough response. I’m glad I trusted my instincts and took him to the er. They performed an emergency surgery on him because he developed orbital cellulitis in his eye, which as you know is an extremely dangerous situation. He is recovering now and feeling much better. They needed to put a tube through his eyelid to help drain the infection from behind his eye. I’m so thankful i trusted my instincts and went to the er.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Agreed…ALWAYS trust your instincts!
          And, “get another opinion” is always the right thing to do – in this case, in the ER.
          I’m relieved that you did the right thing.
          Thank you for sharing your experience.

  66. Hi doctor. I have had a car accident last year which resulted in whiplash. But keep having bad headaches memory loss confusion. I have a nasal drip and very sore right eye. I have just had a ct scan which came back with sinus problems. I now snore. I have pain in my cheek bone. Can it be possible it’s due to the car accident which I was hit very hard from behind while stationary? Hope you can help. Also last week two nose bleeds out of nowhere

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Kathleen:
      No way I can even speculate without a face-to-face meeting and exam. Best advice: find a great physician for thorough evaluation.
      Best success!

  67. Christy says:

    I have had a headache for 1-2 weeks, emotional numbness, lack of pleasure sensation, having difficulty following conversation, and altered sense of taste and smell. I went to the hospital yesterday and they did a CT scan. I was told I have sphenoid sinusitis. They recommended decongestants. I continue to feel worse everyday. Do you think I should seek a second opinion? Would you suggest an ENT?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      There is NEVER a down-side to another opinion. Yes – find an ENT with a great reputation. And best success!

  68. Hi Dr. Faust,
    (I’ve enjoyed your website for ages, especially your sense of humor! I have a question. Can polyps cause nasal rinses/neti pot rinses to become ineffective, such that the neti pot rinse cause a worsening of a sinus infection?

    I used a netipot with great success about 5 years ago, when it helped me kick a sinus infection which antibiotics couldn’t.

    What i’ve been noticing, however, is that the last 3-4 infections i have had seem to be worsened by the neti pot rinse. about 3?4? infections ago, i definitely got worse, and i suspected it was the neti pot, so i bought a new one. This time though, i have been using a new pot, and from having pain only on one side, i am now in the throes of a really bad sinus infection, low fever for close to a week, and i’ve caved in to ask for antibiotics.
    I was told i had polyps when i had MRI done to check for a concussion. Can the growth of polyps make the neti pot no longer effective? I’m starting to see that my sinus infection is worsening, from a smaller infection to a terrible one after rinses (and i don’t rinse everyday, except when i am ill with a sinus pain)…
    Thanks for your response in advance ;)

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Emily,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate your warm support more than you know.
      In answer to your question: yes, nasal and sinus (sino-nasal) polyps CAN cause nasal saline rinses to become ineffective, when they grow so they completely obstruct the nasal cavity, preventing the saline rinses from flowing. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how that would cause sinus infections – it is likely that the same growth that is obstructing flow of saline is also obstructing the sinus openings. Any time the sinus ostia are obstructed, secretions in the sinuses can become infected.
      FYI, MRI is NOT (!) the imaging study to assess sinuses; MRI is great to determine whether the polyps have entered brain or orbit (eye socket), but CT scan is the -gold standard- for assessing sino-nasal polyps.
      If there is concern over polyps, I would insist on a CT scan before making any further plans (surgery, for example).
      But yes: polyps can make saline nasal rinses ineffective.
      Thanks again for your kindness, and best success (and please keep me updated)

  69. Hi Dr, quick question, had a severe decayed tooth removed, it had been bad for years, did tooth and bone removal of it about 2 months ago, face swollen on that side, horrid headaches on that side of head by my eye and temple, I have some tremors and twitches in eye, they did a brain MRI, it states mucosal thickening in sphenoid sinus and ethmoid air cells along with prominent juggular chain nodes, I asked about it, they said just allergies, I’m worried I have an infection, should I get a second opinion, I’ve been really sick feeling, thanks any advice appreciated

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Angie:
      No way I can be of much help, except to advise you to seek another opinion. And – if still not satisfied – another.

  70. Irwin w detlefsen says:

    Can long term untreated sinusitus cause cancer ? I have a friend who cancelled surgery after long wait because specialist told him it can recur . And so he said if thats the case, why bother. Another friend recently told me he had the surgery years ago and was told if untreated it can cause cancer ? I dont believe my friend in Townsville QLD is aware of this & AS HE NURSED his mother who died from cancer i would like to give him informed data to decide what to do with all the facts. Thank you. Irwin

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Un-treated sinusitis is not a common (or even uncommon) cause of cancer. On the other hand, a growing naso-pharyngeal cancer can obstruct sinus openings and cause sinusitis! It is ALWAYS best for an adult with symptoms of nasal obstruction to be checked out.

      Regarding his “why bother?” comment: I’ll need brush my teeth tomorrow, even though I brushed them today … but my response is not “why bother”. If your friend is miserable enough due to his sinusitis, he will take even a chance of improvement, despite a very very small chance that it may recur.

      Best success to you and your friend.

  71. Hi Dr. Faust can you please tell me all about threatment of sphenoid mucocele? I’m having small nasal deviation, rhinitis and sphenoid mucocele and curently treating it with narivent sprey and salt water. Also at work I’m exposed to chemicals find in paint and grader , can that affect my healt? Thank you

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Lola,

      Mucoceles are common, and usually do not pose a serious risk … unless they become infected. Infection of a sphenoid mucocele can be potential risk of some serious complications. Your regimen of salt water (saline) rinses is great. You should consider visiting a couple ENT docs to ask their opinions. The fact that you tell me you have a sphenoid mucocele suggests that a physician has already ordered a “sinus CT scan,” so you must already have an ENT doc? Ask their opinion.

      Options include:
      – doing nothing
      – surgical removal of the mucocele.

      For mucoceles, complete surgical removal is sometimes not necessary. Some mucoceles may be treated successfully merely by opening them – called “marsupializing” the mucocele.

      Thanks for visiting and for sharing. Please do keep me updated on what you find out, and how things go for you.
      Best success

  72. Amie Speicher says:

    Sorry, but this is going to be a long one. 4 years ago, in Jan. 2014, I had 4 badly impacted wisdom teeth removed. I was 16 at the time. I was told that I would have a sinus headache for several weeks because the roots of my wisdom teeth were in my sinuses. At least 6 months went by and I still had a bad sinus infection. I also had tonsillitis. My sinuses were so swollen that my eyes would get puffy and my tonsils were the size of large pecans. I went through several rounds of antibiotics and it only got worse. I’m very sensitive to antibiotics. One ENT put me on antibiotics for 3 months. I stuck it out for a month, then quit because my symptoms hadn’t improved any and the side effects were awful. A chronic sinus infection is bad enough but I also had tonsillitis. That’s downright miserable. I finally just gave up and tried to live with it. After 3 years the sinus infection finally cleared up, but I still had tonsillitis. For 3 yr. 9 months I hardly had a day without a sore throat. Finally, in desperation I made an appointment with another ENT. He asked how long I’d had a sore throat and I said, “3 years.” He stared in disbelief, then he looked into my throat and threw a fit. My tonsils were full of puss. Literally half of my left tonsil was gone. He shook his head and said, “There’s only one thing left to do.” “Tonsillectomy?” I asked. He nodded and said, “I don’t see how you survived this long.” That was a big relief to me. I was afraid he was just going to put me on antibiotics and dismiss it. I had my tonsils removed the next week on Fri. Sep. 8, 2017. The rest of Fri. and Sat. I couldn’t keep a thing down, not even my pain meds. (He gave me liquid Tylenol/Hydrocodone.) By Sat. evening I was so dehydrated that my skin was crinkled and hung from my flesh. My throat was so dry and swollen that I couldn’t even swallow liquids anymore. They took me to the ER. They couldn’t admit me because it wasn’t at the hospital that my ENT worked with. They gave me IV fluids and something for the nausea and it put me to sleep. After awhile I woke up and started dry heaving and throwing up bile. They gave me something much stronger this time. I didn’t stop dry heaving until they connected it to my IV. It instantly knocked me out. Sometime later I woke up still excruciating pain. They gave some synthetic morphine, let me sleep awhile, then sent me home with a prescription for nausea. They also told me to stop taking the Tylenol/Hydrocodone and take liquid Tylenol. I did that for a day and a half then switched back to the prescription. That Sun. I slept off the effects of the morphine. By Mon. morning I was up and going. I was working hard all week. I went back for a checkup 11 days later and the scabs were gone. At the 3 week point I was like “Wow, I never knew not having a sore throat could feel this great”. For the first time in three years NO SORE THROAT! Then one day I got a sore throat again. There were lots of weird bumps in my throat where my tonsils had been. I got abscesses, too. Right now I’m not finding any abscesses, but the bumps are still there and I have a sore throat off and on. A few weeks ago my sinus infection returned with a vengeance and now my sinuses are very swollen and my eyes are puffy. I also have a bad sore throat. I’m considering going back to the ENT, but I’m rather discouraged over the whole thing because I’m still in debt from my tonsillectomy and it appears as though I have no choice but to live with it……

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Any time you’re discouraged, please consider getting another opinion. My recommendation is to find a physician who follows a more holistic approach – who considers ALL of your health, and who does not simply focus on your throat, or your nose.
      Thank you for sharing, and best success.

  73. Have a daughter, 6yr old, with a lump on forhead and swelling of the entire face. CT scan didn’t show it was going into the bone so ER gave single dose of steroid, and antibiotics for 2 weeks. (She also tested positive for UTI) none of it quite ads up. But, Swelling (and pain) down almost 85% within 12 hours. End of 2 weeks, still slight bump on forehead. Go back to ER, Same repeat treatment with different antibiotics and 24hr later the swelling now get worse than it was! Headed to ENT as soon as they can get us in.
    Does any of this sound like fungal infection?

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Since this has been going on for weeks, in my opinion the Emergency Room is no longer the place for your daughter’s care … time to make an appointment with her pediatrician and ENT. Unfortunately, no way for me to diagnose fungal infection without a thorough medical history and exam.
      Thank you for visiting and sharing. Please give us follow up when you get this figured out!


  1. […] surgery is absolutely indicated – perhaps your child has experienced one of the severe Complications of Sinusitis – the approach should always be minimally-invasive surgery:  minimal surgery for maximal […]

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