Sinusitis And Chronic Nasal Congestion And Bad Breath
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses. It may be a short-term, acute infection. However, sinusitis can sometimes be a long-term, chronic condition, complicated by allergies and/or structural problems in the nose. It can cause chronic nasal congestion and greatly affect your quality of life.
Nasal sinuses are located within the cheeks, around and behind the nose. It is believed that their main function is to warm, moisten and filter the air in the nasal cavity. They also help us vocalize certain sounds.
The signs and symptoms of sinusitis vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and which sinuses are involved, but symptoms may include:
- Thick, green or yellow colored mucus from the nose or down the back of the throat
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Bad breath/bad taste in the mouth
- Sore throat/cough
How Smells Stick To Your Nose
If you find that you have a smell stuck in your nose, its extremely unlikely that the culprit will be found lodged in the nasal canal. The majority of these cases dont involve particles that are stuck in your receptors. Instead, a smell stuck in your nose is more likely to be an issue with the way that your olfactory system and brain interact.
For example, if you come across a horrendous smell that makes you reel or feel ill, you might end up recreating that smell through your memory. Psychologist Avery Gilbert performed studies on smell conjuring, finding that people are able to recreate odors in their minds, even as they dream.
However, if its not the case that youre conjuring a smell out of memory, making it appear as if its stuck in your nose, theres a good chance that you might be dealing with a smell disorder.
How To Tell The Difference Between Covid
Allergy and sinus symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 symptoms. An otolaryngologist explains how to tell them apart and when you should seek treatment.
Allergy season has become more complicated since the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have allergies or sinus problems, you may not be sure how to tell the difference between those symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms. Jessica Southwood, MD, otolaryngologist, offers expert guidance to help you better understand these three conditions.
Since sinus and allergy symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms can seem similar and have some overlap, it is important to familiarize yourself with the differences. That way, you and your provider can manage your health care appropriately.
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The Importance Of Diagnosis
Losing smell or taste might sound minoruntil you experience it. Smell and taste are both important for overall health. A strong sense of smell can help you identify dangers like a gas leak or spoiled food. A sense of taste is important for feeling satisfied while eating. People with loss of taste and smell are at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.
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What Is Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis is a long-standing inflammation of your sinuses that lasts for 12 weeks or longer at a time. Sinusitis is also known as rhinosinusitis . So, we use the two terms interchangeably. When inflamed, nasal passages and sinuses become swollen and blocked. Chronic sinusitis interferes with the normal drainage of the mucus. Too much mucus builds up in your nose and sinuses, making them stuffy.
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Having Trouble Tasting And Smelling This Could Be A Sign Of Sinusitis
When your sinuses are inflamed and not draining properly, the effects can be fairly obvious as congestion hampers your ability to breathe and leads to pain and discomfort. But if youre also experiencing a loss of taste and smell, the cause may stem from the same problem sinusitis.
At Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Wade Han and our team specialize in nasal problems, and we understand the widespread impact this seemingly small area of your health can have on your overall wellness. For patients in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, who are struggling with the symptoms of sinusitis, weve pulled together a basic primer on the problem and how it can affect your health and your senses.
If youre having trouble tasting and smelling, heres a look at why sinusitis may be at the root of the problem.
Dental Issues And Poor Oral Hygiene
Cavities, or holes in the teeth, can trap bacteria that release unpleasant gases such as sulfur when they break down. Cavities usually arise due to tooth decay or gingivitis, which can include inflamed gums or gum disease.
These unpleasant gases, which become foul-smelling odors, can travel through small holes in the back of the mouth that connect to the sinuses and cause a bad smell in the nose.
Poor oral hygiene increases the number of food particles left in the mouth that can decay, increasing the risk of developing a bad taste or smell in the mouth.
Dental issues can also increase the risk of developing plaque, which is a thick film of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and inflame the tissues between the teeth and gums .
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How Is It Diagnosed
Diagnosing phantosmia usually involves finding out the underlying cause. Your doctor will likely start with a physical exam that focuses on your nose, ears, head, and neck. Youll be asked about the types of odors you smell, whether you smell them in one or both nostrils, and how long the odors tend to stick around.
If your doctor suspects a nose-related cause, they may do an endoscopy, which involves using a small camera called an endoscope to get a better look at the inside of your nasal cavity.
If these exams dont point to a specific cause, you may need an MRI scan or CT scan to rule out any neurological conditions, such as Parkinsons disease. Your doctor might also suggest an electroencephalogram to measure the electrical activity in your brain.
Causes Of Swallowing Problems:
- With age, swallowing muscles often lose strength and coordination, making it difficult for even normal secretions to pass smoothly into the stomach.
- During sleep, swallowing occurs less frequently and secretions
- Coughing and vigorous throat clearing is often needed upon waking.
- When nervous or under stress, throat muscles can trigger spasms that make you feel as if you have a lump in your throat
- Frequent throat clearing, which usually produces little or no mucus, can increase the irritation.
- Growths or swelling in the food passage can slow or prevent the movement of liquids and/or solids.
- Reflux .If you suffer from GERD symptoms, your stomach contents and acid may sometimes back up or splash into the esophagus, causing heartburn, indigestion, and sometimes a sore throat. GERD symptoms may be aggravated by certain foods and drinks, eating large meals and bending or lying down, especially after Some GERD sufferers also have a digestive hernia. This pushes the stomach up through the diaphragm and into the esophagus temporarily or permanently.
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Treating Loss Of Taste And Smell
If you lose your sense of taste or smell, you should talk to a healthcare professional. They will work to identify the cause of your loss. That will determine what treatment is used.
If your loss is due to a medical issue, addressing that can help return your sense of smell. This might mean changing medications, getting treatment for congestion, or starting an allergy medication.
In other cases, like with COVID-19 or a concussion, youll have to wait for your senses of taste and smell to return. Some people experience a spontaneous return or their sense of taste and smell but, in rare cases, the conditions can be permanent.
You can also adopt lifestyle changes to enhance sensations of taste and smell. Cooking with aromatic ingredients, using bold colors, or adding spices can increase your satisfaction from meals. Counseling can also help with the emotional side of losing your sense of taste and smell.
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Is A Loss Of Sense Of Smell And Sinus Infections Related
Watch the video above as Jing Shen, MD explains Smell Disfunction
You probably take your sense of smell for granted, but do you ever wonder what it would be like if you had a loss of sense of smell? A total loss of smell is known as anosmia. When you dont have a sense of smell, your food will taste different, you wont be able to smell flowers and you may even find yourself in dangerous circumstances unknowingly .
Below we go over how your sense of smell works, the impacts of a loss of sense of smell, and if sinus infections can cause a loss of sense of smell.
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Certain Foods And Medications
Sometimes, the bad smell coming from inside your nose isnt due to an illness.
Occasionally, tiny air particles called odorants get trapped inside your nose. Odorants from cooking certain foods or taking medications can easily bother your sense of smell later.
Eating or cooking with garlic, onion, coffee, or chillies can have such a strong smell that you feel it hours later too.
While getting rid of onion breath is relatively easy, if the smell is coming from inside your nose, youll simply have to wait it out.
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What Are The Sinuses
The sinuses are hollow, interconnected spaces inside your skull. They extend across your forehead, behind your nose, between your eyes and under your cheekbones. Sinus walls have a layer of mucus that traps bacteria and keeps the air inside moist.
Sinuses need to drain frequently. If theres a blockage or inflammation, the sinuses dont work like they should.
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Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
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Can Sinus Infection Cause Bad Smelling Mucus In Nose
Sinus infection is the colonization of the sinuses by foreign microorganisms leading to inflammation or swelling, normally filled with air. The truth is that this infection can cause bad smell in the nose. The inflammation makes them to become blocked and filled with bacteria which then grow. This inflammation is called sinusitis.
A sinus infection can start when you have a cold. Similarly, It could happen when you some condition that is known as deviated septum that refers to a shift in your nasal cavity. Your examining doctor should be able to prescribe for you the best remedy.
There are various symptoms that could tell you that you have a sinus infection:
- Thick yellow or pain around your face and eyes
- A cold that will not go away
- Post nasal drip
- Blockage of your nose
- Headache mainly on the forehead
There is a whole mechanism on how the inflammation of the sinus leads to the bad smell in the nose. The inflamed sinus clogs the nose and this creates a warm, moist environment which is the best culture medium for bacteria colonization. The bacteria in the mucus multiply fast.
The infection makes things to get worse in the nose. Your body starts an act of fighting the infection using the immune system response mechanism. The fight makes the body to respond by secretion of more mucus. The mucous membrane also dilates blood vessels.
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How Homeopathy Tackles Bad Smell In The Nose
Homoeopathy is a system of medicine where the patient is treated on symptom similarity, explained Dr Rosamma Sabu, Homeopathic Practitioner.
In cases where you cannot find out the exact cause of the bad smell in the nose and the patient presents with very particular symptoms without any physical or psychological problems, then symptom similarity is the key which helps homoeopaths treat patients successfully by considering their general nature, particular food habits, sleeping patterns, said Dr Rosamma of Balsam Homeopathic Centre, Sharjah.
Homeopathy has treatment for fifty-plus smells felt in the nose like the smell of blood, smoke, and many other smells, she said.
What Effects Does A Loss Of Sense Of Smell Have
Individuals with anosmia might lose interest in eating and food which could lead to weight loss and malnutrition.
When you have anosmia, you should ensure you have functioning smoke alarms in your home in various locations. You should also be careful with the use of natural gas and with food storage since you might have issues detecting gas leaks and spoiled food.
Some suggested precautions are:
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How Chronic Nasal Congestion Causes Post
Glands in your nose and throat continually produce mucus . Mucus is a thick, wet substance that moistens and cleans the nasal membranes, wets the air, and clears inhaled foreign matter. It also fights infection by trapping and destroying bacteria and viruses.
Your body is designed to clear excess mucus from your nose. The mucus mixes with saliva and drips harmlessly down the back of your throat. Usually, you swallow it without even noticing. However, when your body produces excess or thicker mucus, its more noticeable. You are aware of it building in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose. This is called post-nasal drip.
Swallowing problems may also cause solids or liquids to accumulate in the throat. This may complicate, or feel like, post-nasal drip. When the nerves and muscles in the mouth, throat, and food passage arent interacting properly. Overflow secretions can spill into the voice box and breathing passages . These secretions can cause hoarseness, throat clearing, or coughing.
Smoking And Tobacco Use
Tobacco products contain chemicals that stain and weaken the teeth and gums, thus increasing the risk of tooth and gum disease. Tobacco can also give the breath an unpleasant odor.
Smoking can also reduce someones ability to taste and smell food properly, which may cause someone to smell odors that they perceive as foul, but which may not actually be bad.
People with phantosmia smell things that are not there. It occurs when a condition interferes with a persons sense of smell.
Everyone with phantosmia smells a slightly different scent, but most people experience something that smells:
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What Causes A Bad Smell In The Nose
Several conditions may cause a bad smell in the nose, including sinusitis, tooth/ mouth infections, dry mouth, some medications, some foods/drinks, and olfactory damage. Typically, a bad smell in the nose is not life-threatening but can decrease the quality of life.
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Can I Prevent Fungal Sinusitis
You may not be able to prevent a fungal sinus infection. If youre at a higher risk for fungal sinus infections, talk to your provider. They may recommend regular checkups to monitor your health and treat infections quickly. Talk to your provider if you:
- Have had a fungal sinus infection in the past.
- Have a health condition that weakens your immune system.
- Take immunosuppressant drugs or are getting chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
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How To Get Rid Of Sinus Infection Odors
The best way to get rid of sinus infection odors is to seek sinus infection treatment. For some, over-the-counter medications and rest are enough treatment to do the trick. And we also recommend checking out our list of the best foods for sinus infection treatment.
But for those suffering from frequent or chronic sinus infections, it may be best to seek additional medical treatment. One of the most minimally invasive treatments available for chronic sinusitis is balloon sinuplasty, which is an in-office procedure that provides long-lasting sinusitis relief.
What Causes Chronic Sinus Infection
Multiple factors acting together usually contribute to chronic sinusitis.
People with allergies are more prone to develop chronic sinusitis. About one in five people with chronic sinusitis also have asthma. This is because the linings of your nose and sinuses are in continuation with the linings of your lungs. These people are also likely to have nasal polyps .
A bacterial or viral infection can also trigger the condition. The infection is often low grade. The bacteria confine themselves in stubborn biofilms, making it difficult for your immune system or antibiotics to find and attack them.
An overlap of additional factors such as smoking, environmental pollutants, and deviated septum, further complicate the picture of chronic sinusitis.
It would be more appropriate to say that if youre already prone to allergies and nasal polyps, it becomes easier for harmful bugs, especially fungi to penetrate your sinuses. Likewise, a weak immune system makes you more susceptible to catch bacterial, viral, or fungal sinus infection.
A sinus that is inflamed and swollen can no longer sweep away the excess mucus and harmful agents due to the blockage of tiny hairs that facilitate this function.
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How Does Sinus Infection Smell Like Feces
Your doctor will usually be able to determine whether or not you have sinusitis by examining the inside of the nose. The symptoms that you have can also help diagnose the underlying cause of your problem.
There are a number of symptoms that you can experience when you have sinusitis. The main symptoms include nasal congestion, pressure or pain over the affected sinus, and difficulty breathing.
The symptoms may vary from person to person. Other symptoms include:
Some people may also find the problem smells like feces, why?
Sinus infection can affect your smell in several ways. But although smell change can sometimes be very bothersome, this symptom usually will improve as the infection relieves and the inflammation gets better.
Bad breath or bad smell when you have sinus infection may occur due to the following reasons: