Does Sinus Infection Lead to Pneumonia?

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  1. The infection may become chronic. Chronic means that the infection lasts longer, typically more than 8 weeks.
  2. The risk of blood clots. The infection may interfere with the blood supply to other areas of the body (such as to the brain), increasing the risk of stroke. But this complication is very rare in people with sinus infection.
  3. Problems in vision such as reduced vision. This may occur if the infection spread to the eye socket.
  4. If the infection spreads to the brain, this may lead to a condition called meningitis (infection of the delicate membranes that cover the spinal cord and brain).
  5. In people with asthma, sinus infection may trigger or worsen their asthma flare-ups.

How about pneumonia? Can the infection in sinusitis spread to the lungs?

 Currently, there is still no adequate evidence to confirm the link between sinusitis and pneumonia. If the sinus infection does spread (in rare cases), it’s likely to spread to the nearby areas of the affected sinus such as eyes and brain.

So in general, we can say that pneumonia has nothing to do with sinusitis – though in a few cases both conditions could be found together. The common risk factors of pneumonia are as follows:

  1. Younger children (younger than 2 years old) and older adults (older than 65 years old) are at higher risk.
  2. Particular chronic conditions, especially such as COPD (like emphysema), cystic fibrosis (an inherited disorder), asthma, and heart disease.
  3. If you’re a smoker.
  4. If you have any condition that weakens your body’s immune system.
  5. Being hospitalized, particularly if you need to use a machine to help your breathing.

Interestingly, both conditions share several same risk factors such as smoking and weakened body’s immune system. But again this doesn’t mean that they are linked.

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