Sinus infection also called sinusitis, is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses that may occur when having an infection, allergy or autoimmune issues. Discuss topics including causes, symptoms and treatments for sinusitis.
hi, i think i have a bacterial sinus infection. i got a cold/virus at the beginning of february that lasted 2 days or so (headache, mild fever, mild sore throat), and then all symptoms went away except for a cough. i was coughing up phlegm but otherwise felt well. i went away on a pre-planned ski trip on feb 8th and returned on the 13th, this past thursday. i felt fine until the 12th (except for the cough) when the right side of my head felt like it was ballooned up, and i could barely hear out of my right ear. by the 13th, when i returned home, that had become a sore throat and stuffed nose. the feeling of ballooning in my head went away by friday the 14th, but aside from that symptoms got worse: i was blowing out of my nose and coughing up thick, yellow-green mucous, my head ached when i bent over, i had a weird sensation in my teeth, i had a sore throat, and i felt pressure in my sinus area above my nose. and on saturday night i noticed that i had lost my sense of smell.
i went to the doctor on monday and he prescribed me a 3-7 day course of antibiotics. it's been 2 full days on the antibiotics, and my sore throat is gone. i can also at least sleep through the night now. but i am still blowing my nose and coughing up mucous, i still have pressure above my nose, and i still can't smell anything.
the doctor wasn't very specific about anything ("it sounds like you may have a bacterial infection", "if you feel better after 3 days you don't need to take the antibiotics for 7", "your sense of smell could take anywhere from 7 days to 10 weeks to return", etc). at what point should i be worried about my sense of smell and go to see an ENT? i prefer not to feel under the weather but my concern is about the sense of smell, which is a real quality of life thing.
it seems pretty normal to lose smell when you have a sinus infection but nowhere on the net seems to give any advice about how long it's reasonably gone for before it's time to worry, and what to do about it.
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