Sinus infection or sinusitis is swelling or inflammation of the air cavities within the nose passages. It is of 4 types and if left untreated may lead to meningitis. People have many doubts regarding its further consequences such as can sinus infection cause ear pain, and so on. Let us see what this infection is all about and its other effects in this article.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a common inflammation that affects paranasal sinuses- the cavities that generate the mucus needed for the nasal passages for effective working.
It is either chronic or acute and is caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, autoimmune reactions, or fungi.
Although painful and uncomfortable like blocked sinus ear pain, it goes away on its own, however, if signs continue for more than a week seeking a doctor intervention is advised.
Causes Of A Sinus Infection
It can pop from varied factors, but it always stems from fluid getting trapped in the sinuses.
Viruses: 90% of cases in adults are the result of sinusitis.
Bacteria: 1 case in 10 adults is caused by bacteria.
Pollutants: Irritants and chemicals in the air may cause a sinus infection.
Fungi: Two types of infections are caused by fungi known as allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) and chronic indolent sinusitis.
Sinusitis Risk Factors
The below augment a person’s risk;
- Past respiratory tract infections like the common cold
- Nasal polyps
- Weakened immunity
- Allergic reactions caused due to pollen, dust, and animals
- Nose’s structural problems
Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Symptoms differ based on the severity and length of the infection.
If a person has two or additional of the below signs and thick, yellow or green nasal discharge, they could be suffering from acute sinusitis and the symptoms are.
- Facial pressure and pain
- Nasal discharge
- Reduced smelling sense
- Blocked nose
In more severe cases, the below symptoms could also be present;
Can A Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain?
Regrettably, anything that leads to nasal swelling like sinusitis can lead to swelling of the space in the middle ear as the nose is congested. So a sinus infection can lead to ear pain. In the majority of serious sinusitis cases, the complete face is affected due to sinus pressure leading to pain and one such pain is ear pain with sinus pressure.
What Causes Sinus And Ear Pain?
Any circumstance that affects the sinuses can cause ear congestion like common colds, allergies, sinus infections, and ear pain.
How To Relieve Sinus Ear Pain?
Here are things to do to relieve sinus-related ear congestion;
- Use a nose decongestant
- Blow the nose tenderly
- Use a nasal irrigation system or a nasal rinse
- Use a humidifier, since dry air can infuriate the nasal passages
- Avoid smoking and other irritants
- Drink plenty of water, importantly in the evening times to thin the nasal mucus
When To See A Doctor?
If it is present for more than 10 days and you have a fever a doctor’s visit is a must. If there’s a simple sinusitis doctor may suggest using saline nasal washes and a decongestant. A doctor may suggest antibiotics/steroids which he/she may ask you to take for a fortnight. And within this time the symptoms should disappear and you should be fine.
In most severe cases alone functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is done.
Other Treatment Options
Remember not to use an over-the-counter decongestant for over 3 days as doing so can make the situation even more complicated.
In the case of chronic sinusitis warm, moist air may be the helping assistant. You can as well use a vaporizer or inhale steam from warm water.
Other Options For Chronic Sinusitis
- Warm compresses can lessen pain in the nose and sinuses.
- You can use saline nose drops as they are safe.
- Over-the-counter decongestant sprays or drops can help.
How To Prevent Sinusitis
- Maintain good hygiene of hands.
- Avoid active smoking and passive smoking.
- Use only valid vaccinations.
- Stay off from people with respiratory infections and colds
- Use humidifiers when the climate is cold.
Remember that in the majority of the cases sinusitis goes away with a healthy lifestyle and OTC drugs and if it doesn’t go away you aren’t maintaining the required hygiene and lifestyle. Now hope all the answers to can sinus infection cause ear pain and are they interrelated are explained.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.