Use Humidifiers Within The Home
Wherever you can, keep your sinuses moist. When they dry out, the pressure feels worse, and you can suffer more symptoms, such as dizziness and headaches. Humidifiers are the easiest and quickest way to keep your sinuses moist throughout the day, especially when you are in the home. They help to add moisture to the air, regardless of the temperatures and humidity outside. If you live in an area known for dry heat, you will want to consider a humidifier for other reasons. They are excellent for keeping the skin moist and supporting the heat of the rest of your body.
Keep the humidifiers running throughout the night. This is often when most people experience drier temperatures and need the help. You can avoid waking up with the feeling that you have been in the sauna.
If you cannot use a humidifier for any reason, you will need to consider your other options to keep your sinuses moist and clear. One of the best options is a nasal saline spray.
Most people will think of the pharmaceutical options, but they are not necessary. You can make your own with just some filtered or pre-boiled water. You will want to make sure the toxins and minerals are removed from the water before using it as a saline spray.
Dont use the saline mixtures within the ears. You can cause damage to your hearing. Only opt for ear saline treatments when used by a trained professional.
When To See A Doctor
Usually, ear problems related to a sinus issue arenât severe and donât last long. Most of the time, they go away on their own. See your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- You have head, face, or ear pain, or swelling that doesnât get better with non-prescription medication.
- Your symptoms last for more than a week or keep coming back.
American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery: âSinusitis â âDizziness and Motion Sickness â and âSinus Pain: Can Over-the-Counter Medications Help?â
Divers Alert Network: âEars and Sinuses — Instructions for Equalizing Ears and Sinuses.â
Harvard Medical School, Womenâs Health Watch: âWhat to Do About Sinusitis.â
Tampa Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates: âSinusitis.â
Lindsey, H. ENT Today, July 2009.
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Treatments From Your Gp
If these treatments donât help, you GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for an assessment and to discuss whether surgery is a suitable option.
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What Exactly Is Sinusitis
Sinusitis or rhino sinusitis is a common infection that affects most people and occurs as an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and sinuses. The cavities surrounding the nasal passages become swollen disrupting the drainage process, leading to a build-up of mucus. This causes difficulty in breathing and may additionally result in facial pain and headaches.
Acute sinusitis may be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi due to allergies or pollution. People suffering from asthma, cystic fibrosis and those with poor immune systems are especially susceptible to this infection. Smokers and diabetics are also prone to develop sinusitis. Most often it starts with a common cold, and develops into progressively more severe symptoms, eventually requiring treatment.
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How Is Sinusitis Treated
Doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics to treat sinusitis caused by . Some doctors may recommend decongestants and antihistamines to help ease symptoms.
Sinusitis caused by a usually goes away without medical treatment. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and/or warm compresses can help reduce any pain. Over-the-counter saline solution is safe and helps wash the nose and relieve many symptoms caused by allergies, viruses, and bacteria.
What Is Acute Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the sinuses, most often including a sinus infection. The sinuses are four paired cavities in the head. They are connected by narrow channels. The sinuses make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose, cleaning the nose. Typically filled with air, the sinuses can become blocked by fluid and swell from irritation. When this happens, they can become infected.
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How To Solve A Sinus Infection That Wont Go Away
Sinus infection is a common problem that can affect any age group. It represents the fifth most common condition that requires an antibiotic prescription.
Sinuses are four paired air-filled spaces in your skull and face bones surrounding your nose. Their main function is to produce mucus that forms a layer inside the sinuses to humidify inhaled air and keep the interior of your nose moisturized. This mucus layer can trap dust particles, other pollutants, or bad germs and brush them out through your nose. Each sinus drains into your nose through small openings to keep these passages clear of excess mucus and the trapped particles.
However, sometimes, such as when the weather changes and you catch a cold, it can turn into a sinus infection. This causes inflammation of your sinuses, known as sinusitis. Usually, sinusitis should go away in a few days or a week. But sometimes that sinus infection can stick around for a long time.
Will I Need To Make Lifestyle Changes To Deal With Sinus Infections
If you have indoor allergies it is recommended that you avoid triggersanimal dander and dust mites, for exampleas well as take medications. Smoking is never recommended, but if you do smoke, strongly consider a program to help you quit. Smoke can also trigger allergies and prevent removal of mucous by the nose. No special diet is required, but drinking extra fluids helps to thin nasal secretions.
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Stay Away From Dairy Products
Some doctors hold the opinion that taking lots of dairy products when suffering from sinus drainage makes it worse by encouraging excessive mucus production.
Should you stop using dairy products and realize that the problem has completely cleared, chances are that you are allergic to dairy products. Talk to your health care provider about it.
Opt For Steam To Clear The Sinuses
You can help to relieve pressure using steam. One of the most commonly suggested options is to sit in a warm shower for at least 15 minutes, allowing the natural steam to do the work. You can also do this in a hot bath, but you will need to protect your skin from the heat.
If you cannot stand the heat of the water or you want it hotter, you can make your mini head sauna.
Place a bowl of boiled water on a table. Put your head over the bowl and use a towel over your head to help trap the steam within the area. You can breathe the steam in and out, naturally clearing the pressure within your sinuses and relieving the pain and discomfort in your ears.
If you want to go one step further, you can opt for some Vicks or another menthol cream within the water. Mint essential oil will also work. You only need a little to create menthol steam that offers more benefits to clear out your sinuses and relieve the pressure that has built up.
Avoid putting your head down while doing this. You want to keep it over the bowl in a semi-upright position. Putting your head down will cause more pressure on the sinuses and your ears.
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Foods That Help Relieve Sinus Congestion
Sinus congestion has many reverberating symptoms that can ruin your day and put you out of commission. Sinus congestion is the fullness you feel in various areas across your face, head and neck caused by a blockage in the sinus cavities. Sinus congestion occurs when the mucus in your nasal passageway doesnt drain properly, leaving a build-up that blocks your sinuses.
Use Pillows To Encourage The Drainage From The Ears
Sometimes there will be some blockage in the ears. You can get the fluid that builds up, due to it having nowhere to go or a previous infection. You will want to get it out of the ears as soon as possible.
Rather than using a saline cleanser , you will want to encourage the draining of the liquid as soon as possible. The best way to do that is by focusing on the way you sleep and sit throughout the day.
Arrange the pillows in your bed to help prop your body slightly. This will help to keep your head up and avoid the pressure going further into your ears and head theres nothing worse than trying to sleep when dealing with pressure around your sinuses! The pillows will also help to encourage the right positioning for the draining of the fluid. Keep your blocked ear closest to the bed for the best results.
Even if the fluid does not drain out, sleeping like this will help you get a good nights sleep. This will encourage your immune system to work better, so you get rid of the sinus issues and pressure quicker.
You may also find that the pressure is due to thetrapped fluid within your ear canal . Tilt your head to one side and jump up and down. Gravity can help to dislodge the water. You will feel it trickle out of your ear!
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Sinus Infection
Chronic sinusitis emerges more insidiously than acute sinusitis. At times, however, the symptoms start suddenly and may resemble that of the common cold or acute sinusitis that just wont go away.
Chronic sinusitis is most likely if you have two or more of the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Mucus and pus-like discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain, pressure around your eyes and nose, or fullness
- Partial or complete loss of your sense of smell
Chronic cough, sore throat, and fatigue may also be seen in a chronic sinus infection. That said, these symptoms are not required for the diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis.
You Could Have An Inner Ear Disorder
is believed to be caused by a fluid imbalance in your inner ear. While it is a chronic condition, dietary changes , medications, hearing aids, and other therapies can help you manage your symptoms.
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Middle And External Ear Infections
A middle ear infection can cause ear congestion, as well as dizziness, ear pain, and occasionally fluid drainage. Theyre usually caused by colds or other respiratory problems that travel to the middle ear through the Eustachian tube.
External ear infections, also known as swimmers ear, are usually caused by water that remains in your ear after swimming or bathing, providing an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. You may experience pain, itching, redness, and clear fluid drainage or a discharge of pus.
Ear infections often resolve without treatment. Over-the-counter ear drops and pain medication can help relieve your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or last more than two days, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
How To Clear Your Sinuses And Ears
This article was medically reviewed by Monica Kieu, DO, FACS. Dr. Monica Kieu is a board certified Otolaryngologist and Specialist in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Kieu received a BS in Anthropology from the University of California, Riverside and earned her medical degree , with honors, from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. She then completed her residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Michigan State University/Detroit Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Kieu also completed a prestigious fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto. She is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Rhinologic Society. Dr. Kieu was recently named one of LAs Top Docs by Los Angeles Magazine.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 47,737 times.
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Over The Counter Medications
For help alleviating sinus pressure and pain, try ibuprofen and a decongestant. Some medications include a combination of pain reliever and decongestant.
Mild antihistamines like Claritin and Allegra are helpful in moderation. Strong antihistamines like Benadryl are often way too drying. Be careful not to take antihistamines too often.
Even though you want your nose to stop running, too many antihistamines can make it more likely that youll get sinus infections in the future.
Drugs like Mucinex and Flonase can also be helpful in thinning the mucus in your nose and sinuses.
If you use Afrin, make sure you stop after three days. Though it can seem like a miracle drug, using it more than three days in a row can lead to something called rebound congestion. In other words, when you stop using the Afrin after continuous use, your nose becomes more congested than it was in the first place!
What Are The Different Types Of Sinus Infections
Sinusitis is categorized based on how long the condition lasts as well as its frequency:
- Acute sinusitis usually lasts a few weeks, but less than a month. There is a subcategory of acute sinusitis, called recurrent acute sinusitis, which occurs when someone gets four or more sinus infections in a year, with symptoms resolving after each one.
- Subacute sinusitis lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts three months or more.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
- a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
- a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
- symptoms of allergies that donât clear with the usual allergy medicine
Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:
- pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
- swelling around the eye
When To See A Doctor About A Clogged Ear
While ear wax is generally more annoying than dangerous,sometimes you need a doctor to clear it. If home remedies dont work, your earhurts or you have trouble hearing, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh says its smart to seek medical evaluation.
Someone needs to look in andsee if the ear canal is open or if the wax is plugging it up, he says.
If the situation is minor, you may be able to get yourears unblocked right then and there. If not, ENT doctors can useoperating microscopes to magnify inside the ear canal, loosen the wax and vacuumit out.
And a clogged ear may have othercauses. It could be a middle ear infection with fluid filling up the spacebehind the eardrum, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh cautions. Or you could have a viralinfection that affects the inner ear. In those cases, a doctor can diagnose andtreat you to prevent permanent hearing loss.