First Aid/Cold/Sinus Infection


Can a sinus infection kill you? I have a head cold/sinus infection. Normally I am in excellent health and rarely get sick. It has been several years since I last had one, but I am experiencing the most painful sinus infection ever.

The other night the pain was so bad that I had to stand up, bend over and touch my toes, and scream into a pillow so my husband could sleep. Bending over seemed to be the only think I could do to relieve the pressure, at least temporarily.

I am self treating with Mucinex-D and Excedrin, plus hot steam breathing and doses of apple cider vinegar. The Excedrin seems to help with the pain.

On the plus side, the pain attacks seem to be less severe, though still quite painful. It feels like someone took a croquet mallet and smashed the left side of my face in from my temple down to my chin, with special emphasis on my lower and upper jaw.

I would like to go to the urgent care center for some antibiotics, but my husband says we can't afford it. I need to know what will happen to me if I do not seek professional medical attention. Could this kill me? I need to know so I can inform my husband what to do with my remains should his stinginess lead to my demise. Frankly, at this point, I would welcome the sweet relief of death.

Thank you.

Hello Heidi,

There is a slight possibility that the infection, if given long enough (I would thing several months at least if not longer), that the infection could make it's way through and into the brain where it is more likely to cause death. death from a sinus infection, especially if your healthy, is unlikely. it sounds like your doing all the right things to manage the infection already. even with antibiotics sinus infections can hang on for weeks after treatment. Check so e of the hospitals and see if they have a "charity care" program that would give you low cost/ no cost visit for this. I know the local chain supermarkets in my area (Western NY)offer free generic antibiotics... look around a little and see what you can find. Possibly talk with a hospital social worker and see what they can tell you about low cost healthcare?

Good luck Heidi, get better soon.


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Marcus LaBarbera


I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.


I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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