Can You Go to Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection?

According to a recent study, approximately 12% of Americans below the age of 45 deal with chronic sinus infections (sinusitis). People with allergies, or respiratory conditions, such as asthma, are more predisposed than others to develop this condition.

However, as the severity of symptoms can vary on a case-by-case basis, many people are unsure of what treatment options are available to them or when they should visit urgent care.

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About Sinus Infections

Sinus infections are a common condition, and are also one of the most common 

reasons why a general practitioner will prescribe antibiotics. This is because it can be an effective way to relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, such as: 

  • A blocked nose and reduced sense of smell
  • Pain/swelling around the face, especially around your cheeks
  • Headaches/migraines
  • High temperatures (above 38)
  • Green/yellow discharge from nose

According to the CDC, sinus infections happen when fluid builds up in the air-filled pockets in the face (sinuses). This fluid buildup allows germs to grow. In addition to respiratory conditions, smokers or those with weakened immune systems may be more likely to contract sinusitis. 

When Should You Seek Medical Help for a Sinus Infection?

Many of those dealing with sinusitis are able to treat the condition at home, using over-the-counter remedies such as nasal decongestants. However, it is generally advised that you seek medical help for a sinus infection if your symptoms are severe and interfering with your daily life, or if they do not improve after a week. 

You may also want to seek out help if you are dealing with chronic or persistent sinus infections as surgical interventions may be necessary.  

Can You Go to Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection?

Urgent care facilities are designed to provide you with access to the healthcare support you need, regardless of what symptoms you are dealing with. As a result, if you are dealing with a severe or prolonged sinus infection, you should reach out to an urgent care facility and consult with a medical professional. 

When to Go to Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection?

As discussed previously, you should go to urgent care for a sinus infection if: 

  • Your symptoms are severe
  • Over-the-counter or pharmacist-prescribed treatments are not working
  • You have been ill for over a week
  • You have a respiratory condition such as severe asthma and feel as though you are more breathless than usual
  • You’re dealing with repeat infections

When to See a Specialist?

If you deal with repeat infections or chronic sinusitis, then you may want to request to see a specialist, such as an ENT. ENTs are Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists who can offer more comprehensive care to those dealing with sinus issues. For example, they may want to try out surgical interventions. 

What Other Treatment Options Are There?

There are a range of non-surgical interventions or treatment options available to those with sinus infections. This can include: 

  • A prescription of antibiotics 
  • Decongestant nasal sprays
  • Steaming 
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Getting plenty of rest and sleep

Try Virtual Urgent Care

If you’d like more advice, but don’t have the time to stop by your local urgent care center, you may want to consider virtual urgent care. We’re open 24/7, and can quickly put you in contact with a healthcare professional who can assess your symptoms, provide you with a formal diagnosis, and suggest relevant treatments. 

As a result, this can be a quick and easy way to ensure your healthcare needs are addressed – without even leaving your home!

FAQ

Key Takeaways

Sinus infections are incredibly common, but that does not mean they are not unpleasant to deal with. As a result, it’s important that you are aware of the various intervention methods you can rely on to deal with this condition – including virtual urgent care services. 

Sources:

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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