Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are my symptoms due to a sinus infection or something more serious?"
I have had an infection in my sinuses before. I thought that is what I have now but it seems a lot worse. I have really bad headaches and nausea and dizziness too. Is it just a sinus infection or do I have a serious illness?
The symptoms do sound quite serious. They could be consistent with a sinus infection, because bad sinus infections can cause headache as well as nausea and dizziness in addition to the typical nasal congestion and fullness in the face. However, they could also be associated with another kind of illness. Regardless, the symptoms sound serious and you need to be evaluated by your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Even a 'simple' sinus infection can turn into a serious medical problem requiring strong antibiotics and other medical treatments. Rarely, sinus infections can be so serious that they can cause spread of the infection to the bloodstream or to the brain. When you see your doctor, they will examine your nose and throat closely for signs of sinusitis. They will also perform a careful neurological examination to make sure the other symptoms you are experiencing, such as headache and dizziness, are not due to a neurological problem, and they will look for evidence of other infections or conditions in other parts of your body as well. While you are waiting to see your doctor, if you experience any severe headache, confusion, intractable nausea or vomiting, or high fevers, go to an emergency room for more immediate evaluation.
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