Is a sinus infection dangerous?

Dr. K. R. Meghanadh

In the olden days, when we did not have endoscopic sinus surgery and CT scan, the easiest way to kill a patient was with sinus surgery. These were the words of Dr. H. P. Mosher in 1929.

The easiest way for a surgeon to kill a patient is during a sinus operation.
Is a sinus infection dangerous?

Technological developments and inventions like endoscopes, lasers, and navigation systems have made surgery extremely safe. The point to be taken here is that sinuses are present at a critical position in our body.


The sinus is an air-filled pocket or cavity located near critical structures like the brain, eye, and other vital organs’ nerves. Sinus diseases can create complications due to their location.


Mucormycosis or commonly known as the black fungus, is an extremely rare sinus fungal infection where fungus spreads rapidly through the blood vessels. Within a few weeks, a person can die if left untreated. That’s how close the sinuses are to the brain. Thankfully most of the sinus disease’s progression is very slow compared to mucormycosis. Few fungal sinus infections can also result in facial deformity.


This slow progression has created a massive lack of awareness about sinusitis. Sinus infection is a dangerous disease and can lead to complications when left untreated, although the general public takes it easy as in most cases somehow the body can manage it for a very long time.


In 95% of sinus disease patients, our body can heal itself without a doctor’s intervention. In 1%, their disease can get severe with time, and a doctor might not be of any help. But, doctors play a vital role in the remaining 4%. A doctor’s job is to identify which slot does the patient fits and give treatment accordingly. A doctor gives the 95% lot a gentle treatment, 4% an aggressive one, and the remaining 1% do not treat. Due to the 95% lot, where the patients can use self-heal, the general notion is that sinus is not dangerous, making the 95% progress into completely avoidable 4% and 1% categories.


Why should we treat sinus infections?

Sinus infection, when left untreated, can spread to the eye and brain. Although 95% have mild sinusitis, the remaining 5% are in danger of losing eyes and life. Therefore, it is better to get treated when we belong to 95% rather than risk going into the 5% lot and ending with surgery. Medicines or home remedies work better for milder sinusitis patients. So, the early you start early, you recover. Do not postpone your sinus surgery with some excuses. Get it done ASAP.

Sinus surgery gives good results in early stages than later stages

Written by

Dr. K. R. Meghanadh


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