Should I Go to Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection?

A man in a gray shirt clutches the bridge of his nose with his left hand. His eyes are closed, and he appears to be in pain.

In the winter months, viral illnesses are more common. Most people spend more time indoors, and you may find yourself sick with the common cold or another virus. We all know the discomfort of a running nose, sore throat, headache, and cough. Sometimes, symptoms like congestion and a headache can linger, possibly due to a sinus infection.

What is a Sinus Infection?

Your face has a series of passages, or sinuses, located above your eyes and nose and inside your cheeks. When you suffer from allergies or catch a virus, such as the common cold, mucus drains from this area down your nose or throat. Your sinuses can become congested with this drainage, and in some cases, bacteria can invade the sinuses, causing a sinus infection.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

  • Pressure above the eyes or behind the cheeks
  • A headache
  • Drainage down the back of the throat
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Malaise
  • Fatigue
  • Increased discomfort when lying down
  • Fever
  • A productive cough

When to Go to Urgent Care for a Sinus Infection

If you have been sick or had severe allergies and some of the above symptoms persist or worsen, you should visit us at Oxford Urgent Care. Sinus infections may require treatment with antibiotics, and your provider can diagnose your symptoms and order treatment to help you on the road to recovery.

Sinus Infection Treatment

Your provider will discuss your symptoms and health history, examine you, and check your vital signs. Your provider can order specific tests, which we can perform quickly in our on-site lab if indicated. Our goal will be to determine the cause of your symptoms and choose the best treatments.

For sinus symptoms resulting from a viral illness, like the common cold, providers typically monitor symptoms for 10 days before prescribing an antibiotic. Sinus congestion will often resolve on its own, and antibiotics are best used judiciously to prevent antibiotic resistance.

If your provider determines your sinus symptoms are caused by a virus, they will likely order medications to relieve them. These may include nasal spray, pain medication, or decongestants. Symptoms due to allergies may also benefit from allergy medication.

An antibiotic may be warranted if your provider feels that a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms. Your provider will choose the antibiotic best tailored to treat your sinus infection, as well as other medications to give you relief.

If you suspect you may need to visit urgent care for a sinus infection, come and see us at Oxford Urgent Care. We are open and ready to provide rapid care any day of the week between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.