ZocdocAnswersIs my ear pain from a sinus infection?

Question

Is my ear pain from a sinus infection?

ear pain in my right ear. ive had a sinus infection for almost a month

Answer

It is possible to have ear pain attributable to the sinus infection but it is also possible to have a separate bacterial super-infection. You should follow up with your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms and for a thorough evaluation and examination. Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is caused by inflammation in the nasal and sinus cavities and can result in headache, sinus facial pain, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea (runny nose), and occasionally tooth and ear pain. If symptoms last for less than 4 weeks, it is termed acute, between 4-12 weeks it is subacute and greater than 12 weeks it is considered chronic sinusitis. It sounds like you infection would still be considered an acute infection. Acute causes include bacterial and viral (most common) infections. About 40% of cases of acute sinusitis improve spontaneously without the use of antibiotics. 98% of viral induced sinusitis improve without treatment. Even though it is possible to have some component of ear pain in association with a sinus process, it is also possible to have a bacterial ear infection that develops on top of a viral sinus infection, especially if the ear pain is a relatively new symptom. For this reason, it is important for you physician to exam you and determine if you have a true ear infection requiring antibiotics. Your physician will also follow your sinus infections to monitor for possible complications including meningitis, orbital cellulitis, and brain abscess.

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