What are the complications of a sinus headache?
Complications of a sinus infection (sinusitis) are rare; however, if left untreated a sinus infection may erode through the bony walls of the sinus and infect adjacent structures in the face. Two potential areas for spread of the infection include:
- The orbit (eye socket), causing pain, swelling, and redness of the eyelid and skin surrounding the orbit. There can also be pain with any eye motion. Decreased vision may develop.
- The brain, causing symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis.
- The blood vessels that run near the sinuses can develop inflammation and blood may clot (thrombus). Cavernous sinus thrombosis describes the inflammation and clotting of the cavernous sinus, a collection of small veins located near the sphenoid sinus, that can potentially become infected and form blood clots.