Congested Sinus And Ringing Ears
Stuffy and congested sinuses and nasal discharge are all common problems affecting millions of individuals. However, for those of us who suffer from a constant ringing, buzzing or popping sound in their ears, on top of stuffy and congested sinuses, understand why some people say the unrelenting ringing noise drives them crazy. It is enough of a problem to deal with the uncomfortable feeling caused by congestion, but add sinus ringing ears on top of the congestion and it makes the situation much worse.
Sinus ringing ears is a cause of distress for many people. Yes, your stuffy nose and that uncomfortable sinus headache could well be contributing factors for the ringing sound that you hear echoing in your ears. In many ways, congested sinus cavities and ringing ears are simply two different sides of the same coin.
The Reality of Ringing in the Ears
Whether it is a crackling noise, a low humming sound or an insistent ringing or buzzing noise that you hear, the continual sounds can make you feel as though you are on the brink of insanity. The constant noise cannot only affect your ability to concentrate and sleep but it can negatively impact the overall quality of your life.
Facts about Sinus Congestion
Finding relief for sinus ringing ears
The following are steps you can take to help diminish, or eliminate, those ringing ear noises.
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Treatments For Postnasal Drip
You can take steps to relieve the symptoms of postnasal drip. Exposure to steam, by taking a shower or drinking hot soup, for example, can help to thin the mucus and open the nasal passages. You can also prevent mucus from collecting in your throat while you sleep by lying on propped-up pillows. If your postnasal drip is caused by allergens or other irritants, nasal irrigation can help clear these foreign bodies away.
Postnasal drip can also be treated with medication, but the specific drug you should use depends on what is causing your symptoms. Steroid sprays or certain antihistamines, for example, are common treatments for postnasal drip caused by allergies. If your postnasal drip is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will likely treat it with antibiotics. Decongestants and expectorants may also be effective.
If you have persistent upper respiratory symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. He or she can help determine the cause and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
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Dilation Of The Eustachian Tube
More recently, dilation of the eustachian tube using balloon catheter has gained attention as a method of treating eustachian tube obstruction. There are two methods of performing this procedure depending on the route of the catheter introduction and the area of the Eustachian tube to be dilated. Dennis Poe have popularized the transnasal introduction and the dilation of the nose side of the eustachian tube. Muaaz Tarabichi pioneered the transtympanic introduction of the balloon catheter and the dilatation of the proximal part of the cartilaginous eustachian tube.
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Obstructions In The Middle Ear
Blockages in the ear canal can cause pressure to build up in the inner ear, affecting the operation of the ear drum. Moreover, objects directly touching the ear drum can irritate the organ and cause the perception of tinnitus symptoms. Common obstructions include:
- Excessive ear wax
- Loose hair from the ear canal
- Dirt or foreign objects
In many cases, the removal of the blockage will alleviate tinnitus symptoms. However, in some situations, the blockage may have caused permanent damage that leads to chronic tinnitus.
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How Can A Sinus Infection Affect Your Ears
Most sinusitis-related ear problems, including tinnitus, are caused by the congestion that occurs during a sinus infection. To better understand this phenomenon, lets take a second to review a few facts about sinusitis.
Sinusitis most frequently occurs when a virus or bacteria irritates the tissues of your sinus cavities. This irritation can lead to swelling which, in turn, can lead to mucus buildup and congestion.
Your sinus cavities and ears are interconnected systems, so congestion in the sinuses can create ear congestion, as well. Congestion in the ear may block the tube known as the Eustachian Tube that connects the middle ear to the outer ear and helps regulate pressure within the ear. When the Eustachian Tube is blocked, the pressure is allowed to build up around the eardrum, which is ultimately what causes ringing in the ears, aka tinnitus.
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a sinus infection that wont go away, so long as the congestion is severe enough, it can cause tinnitus.
Why Does My Ear Hurt After Cleaning It With Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide, although a common household substance, is highly oxidizing in nature. People may insert it into their ears to soften earwax so that it can drain out. However, excessive use of hydrogen peroxide can lead to irritation of the skin inside the ear, which may cause inflammation and earaches.
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Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis
Symptoms of Chronic sinusitis last for more than 12 weeks and include:
- Pus discharge in the nasal cavity
- Nasal congestion
- The feeling of fullness or congestion in your face
- Discolored postnasal drainage
In chronic sinusitis, a person may experience tooth pain, headache, and feel tired quite often. A person may also develop bad breath.
What Causes Ringing In The Ears
Tinnitus is described as a ringing in the ears. It may be soft or loud, high pitched or low pitched. Millions of Americans experience tinnitus, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 15% of the general public over 50 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus.
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Nasal Polyps And Loss Of Hearing
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How Do Allergies Or Sinus Issues Affect My Hearing
Outer ear: Allergic reactions can cause itching and swelling of both the outer ear and ear canal. Some individuals may be allergic to skin reactants like laundry detergent, pets, fragrances or earrings. Others may experience symptoms because of airborne allergies that cause outer ear inflammation such as hay, pollen, mold or dust. Swelling of the outer ear can make it difficult for sounds to make it to your middle and inner ear.
Middle ear: The Eustachian tube is located in your middle ear, so if swelling occurs here from allergies or infection, it is very difficult for fluid in your ears to drain properly. This can cause fluid buildup and a feeling of unwanted pressure, which gives you the feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear and also creates a breeding ground for bacteria. It also means the sounds coming into your ear are becoming muffled and lost, not clearly traveling to your inner ear. Problems with the middle ear can also affect our equilibrium, so balance problems such as vertigo can occur if inflamed.
Inner ear: People with specific inner ear issues such as Ménières disease can be particularly affected by hearing loss due to allergies or sinus infection.
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Why Do I Have This Noise In My Ears
Although we hear tinnitus in our ears, its source is really in the networks of brain cells that make sense of the sounds our ears hear. A way to think about tinnitus is that it often begins in the ear, but it continues in the brain.
Scientists still havent agreed upon what happens in the brain to create the illusion of sound when there is none. Some think that tinnitus is similar to chronic pain syndrome, in which the pain persists even after a wound or broken bone has healed.
Tinnitus could be the result of the brains neural circuits trying to adapt to the loss of sensory hair cells by turning up the sensitivity to sound. This would explain why some people with tinnitus are oversensitive to loud noise.
Tinnitus also could be the result of neural circuits thrown out of balance when damage in the inner ear changes signaling activity in the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes sound. Or it could be the result of abnormal interactions between neural circuits. The neural circuits involved in hearing arent solely dedicated to processing sound. They also communicate with other parts of the brain, such as the limbic region, which regulates mood and emotion.
Types Of Sinus & Allergy
Hearing loss that stems from sinus and allergy issues can manifest in different ways. Conductive hearing loss is the most common condition, but congestion or fullness and tinnitus are also types of hearing loss associated with sinus and allergy problems.
Conductive Hearing Loss
This temporary condition occurs when an element like mucus or earwax prevents the sound waves from flowing freely through the outer, middle and inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can be caused by allergies or sinusitis, so if you treat these issues and clear up your allergies or infection, but still have difficulty hearing, you should see a hearing specialist.
Fullness or Congestion
Dull pain and pressure can result from the congestion or fullness that occurs as glands produce excess fluid that is unable to drain. When this fluid presses on the eardrum, it causes discomfort and makes it more difficult to hear. In most cases, the discomfort will decrease and dissipate within a few days to a week, but if sharp or acute pain occurs, you should see a doctor immediately as this could be a sign of an ear infection.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Pulsatile Tinnitus
In some cases, sound therapy may help to suppress the thumping or whooshing sound caused by pulsatile tinnitus. Your doctor may recommend using a noise-suppressing device, such as a white noise machine or a wearable sound generator. The sound of an air conditioner or fan may also help, particularly at bedtime.
How To Prevent Sinus Infection
There are a couple of ways to address possible long-term damage that might be caused by chronic sinus infections. First and foremost, you should seek out the advice of a hearing specialist if youre suffering from tinnitus or hearing loss .
Second, be sure to do all you can to prevent sinus infections in the first place. Get plenty of rest. Get tested for allergies . Make sure your airways, nose, and throat, are all clear.
If you have concernsor if youve been prone to sinus infections in the pastits worth raising the topic with your hearing specialist. In some cases where youve noticed long-term hearing loss, hearing aids can often help you compensate in a meaningful way . Sinus infections can have a big impact on your hearing health, so theyre important to take seriouslynot that sinus infections are all that easy to ignore.
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What Are The Best Over
Thankfully, there are many highly effective over-the-counter medications available to help remove the sinus congestion.
Pain relievers help reduce the pain caused by the increased pressure in the sinuses. Aspirin, acetaminophen , Aleve , and Advil or Motrin are effective pain relievers. Nasal irrigation can also be used to relieve the congestion in the sinuses.
Oral decongestants can give better relief than nasal sprays but a few side effects may result. Mucus thinner that improves sinus drainage is called a mucolytic and is often prescribed along with cough suppressants. Guaifenesin is a mucolytic that is commonly used for sinusitis.
Always follow the instructions on the label if you are using OTC medications. Make sure you consume the recommended dose for the recommended duration based on your age and weight. Steroid sprays should not be used for a longer period than that mentioned on the label. Excessive use can cause the mucous membranes to swell more than before.
If symptoms persist for more than 10 days and breathing becomes difficult, the infection may be due to bacteria and you may need to consult a doctor for further treatment. Antibiotics such as amoxicillin may be recommended. Surgery is the last resort for people suffering from chronic sinusitis and is done to improve the drainage in the sinuses.
Sinus Ear Ringing Treatment
Fortunately, sinus ear ringing treatment associated with sinusitis-related tinnitus has a tendency to go away as you treat the sinus infection. This can be done with a minimally-invasive procedure such as a balloon sinuplasty that can be performed in a doctors office in 20 minutes or less on patients with a history of medical sinus obstruction.
Various illnesses and allergies can also cause ear clogging and ringing. In this situation, a decongestant nasal spray may help. Another possible reason for ear congestion is a middle ear infection. If you notice fluid drainage, a doctor may suggest removing the foreign object.
An infection in the middle lobe can cause ringing in the ears. It is a bacterial infection that travels through the Eustachian tube and can lead to a number of other issues, including a humming sound.
The condition is sometimes temporary and can be caused by ear infections or a buildup of earwax. However, the ringing in the ears can be permanent and can even lead to hearing loss.
To find out if you are experiencing ringing in the ears, visit your doctor immediately. A physician will be able to prescribe the proper medications for you and help you get back to normal.
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Sinus Issues: Experiencing Hearing Loss After A Sinus Infection
There is nothing quite as annoying as having to deal with blocked sinuses. Usually, a sinus infection or blockage is a result of allergies or a cold and it can be a very painful experience. What many people dont realize is that sinus problems can affect your ears and in turn, your hearing. Thats because sinus congestion, more often than not, results in a swollen Eustachian tube, the inner ears pressure gauge. All of that stuffiness is the cause of the pressure and pain since your ears and sinuses are interconnected. And, at times, with a sinus infection, hearing loss occurs.
The Link Between Sinus Infection And Hearing Loss
Since the ear canal is so close to the sinuses, Eustachian tube blockage can result in sinus congestion. Between your throat and your inner ear, there is a little section that acts as a pressure gauge to maintain optimal ear pressure. However, when that part becomes swollen due to inflammation, fluid collects in that area and that produces painful eardrum pressure. Because of this, you may experience hearing loss after a sinus infection, though it is usually temporary and clears up after fluids leave the Eustachian tube.
What Can Happen If I Dont Seek Help?
If left untreated, an ear infection may cause permanent damage to the middle ear, resulting in rupturing or bleeding in the eardrum. But, if you treat a sinus infection before it spreads to the Eustachian tube and eardrum, you can curb hearing disruptions or sinus-related ear concerns.
Symptoms Of Common Hearing Problems
The most common causes of hearing loss vary depending on your age. For younger people, ear infections, ear wax, or loud noise exposure are common causes of hearing loss in one or both ears. For older age groups, gradual decrease in hearing due to aging is the most common cause. This type of hearing loss usually affects both ears, says Dr. Toh. In children, ear infections are the most common cause of hearing loss.
Here are some common hearing loss causes and their symptoms:
- Sinus infection. You might experience this hearing loss in one or both ears, and it could be accompanied by headache and nasal congestion. Once a sinus infection or head cold clears, your hearing should go back to normal.
- Ear infection. This cause of hearing loss is more likely to be in one ear. You may feel ear pressure and ear pain. Children who have ear infections may develop fluid in their ears that causes significant hearing loss.
- Ear wax buildup. Hearing loss from ear wax in one or both ears may build gradually or come on suddenly if water gets in your ears and mixes with the wax. You may also have a sensation of pressure in your ear.
- Sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss does not usually cause pain or pressure in your ears, but you may have ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, which frequently goes along with nerve damage.
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