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Symptoms

The most common initial symptom of cavernous sinus thrombosis is a headache.

This usually develops as a sharp pain located behind or around the eyes that steadily gets worse over time.

Symptoms often start within a few days of developing an infection in the face or skull, such as sinusitis or a boil.

It can be several days, or even weeks, before additional symptoms develop after the headache starts.

The eyes

In most cases of cavernous sinus thrombosis, the eyes are affected. You may experience:

Other symptoms

Other symptoms of cavernous sinus thrombosis include:

These symptoms usually occur if cavernous sinus thrombosis is left untreated, or if an infection causing the condition spreads throughout the body.

Without treatment, most people with cavernous sinus thrombosis will become increasingly drowsy and eventually fall into a coma.

When to seek medical advice

You should always contact your GP if you have a persistent and severe headache that you've never had before.

While it's highly unlikely to be caused by a cavernous sinus thrombosis, a persistent headache usually requires further investigation.

You should also contact your GP if you develop any of the eye symptoms described above.