Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Too Sick to Work?

How sick is too sick to go to work? Advice on when you should just stay home.

Too Sick to Work: Sinus Infection

An acute sinus infection can cause yellow or green nasal discharge, nasal stuffiness, facial pain or pressure, headache, or aching in the upper jaw and teeth.

If you feel too sick to work, stay home. You may have so much throbbing facial pain or headache that you can’t concentrate on your job. Try some self-care.

Use decongestants for a few days, Haynes says. Nasal irrigation with saline solution also helps to cleanse the sinuses. “Some people get tremendous relief that way,” Cummins says.

But if symptoms don’t improve in a few days or get worse, it’s time to see the doctor, who may treat you with antibiotics.

What about flying for business? Neither Haynes nor Cummins counsels patients to absolutely avoid airplanes if they have a sinus infection. But both urge caution because air pressure changes inside the cabin may worsen pain, especially on takeoff and landing.

“If you’re really sick, I wouldn’t travel anyway,” Haynes says. “But if you have a mild sinus infection and you have to travel, take a decongestant and/or antihistamine before you get on the plane.”

In rare cases, flying with a sinus infection could cause a ruptured eardrum, Cummins says. “It’s a very sudden, painful event, often followed by a bit of blood that may come out of the ear.”

“That sounds like a horrible thing,” Haynes says, “but most of the time, it would heal itself.” A ruptured eardrum typically repairs within two months; any hearing loss is usually temporary.

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat