Rare Cases Can Turn Serious
Antibiotics also can help ward off rare but potentially dangerous complications that arise when a sinus infection spreads to the eyes or brain, Dr. Sindwani says.
Complications around the eyes are the more common of the two. These complications can cause redness, swelling around the eyes and reduced vision, and even lead to blindness in a severe form known as cavernous sinus thrombosis. Serious cases are immediately treated with IV antibiotics. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for a CT scan to see if fluid needs to be drained, Dr. Sindwani says.
Also in rare cases, sinus infections in the rear center of ones head can spread into the brain. This can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis or brain abscess, Dr. Sindwani says.
Before antibiotics, people would die from sinusitis, he says. But he emphasizes that such complications are unlikely. In most cases, the bacterial infection goes away, especially if you dont have underlying medical problems.
Its important to monitor your symptoms if you suspect a sinus infection. If the condition lingers or worsens, call your doctor.
Proven Techniques To Relieve Sinus Pressure In The Ear
Sinus infections or clogged sinuses can affect the ears. You can sometimes feel a mild pain in the ear canal, or you may just feel like your ears are constantly blocked. The sound may be muffled, and it can feel a little disruptive. It is all to do with the pressure within your sinuses and the way you ear, nose, and throat are all connected.
It is time to take some steps to relieve the pressure. The good news is you do not necessarily need medication. Unless this is a symptom of another medical issue, you can avoid pharmaceutical drugs often. There are plenty of proven, herbal and natural remedies available.
Heres a look at seven that you will want to try right away to get rid of your sinus pressure within the ear.
Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
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Can A Sinus Infection Affect Your Eye
Can a Sinus Infection Affect Your Eye?
Absolutely! Sinusitis, otherwise called a sinus infection, occurs when pesky bacteria and viruses invade the sinus cavities located in the face. These spaces in the face can fill with mucous, and that mucous can become infected. Youll know when you have a sinus infection because the sinus cavities will be filled with fluids and youll feel pressure around them. Sinus Infections can affect your eyes in a few different ways.
One of the hallmark symptoms of a sinus infection is feeling pressure build up in your face. You may even feel pressure behind your eyes. Thats because, all the sinus areas Frontal, Ethmoid, Sphenoid, and Maxillary, sort of surround the eyes anatomically. The Ethmoid sinuses are located at the nose bridge and extend down the nose on each side of the nose, directly beside each eye. The Frontal sinus extends to the nose bridge above each eyebrow.
Our SmartDocMD online physicians currently offer diagnosis and sinus infection treatment online to anyone in the state of California. Our offices are based in the Bay Area but our service is available throughout the state. We are planning on expanding to other states, so check back for updates.
About Author: David Pruitt
David Pruitt is a writer for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare. He has a bachelors of journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and worked as a reporter before joining OSF HealthCare in 2014. An avid golfer and fisherman, David was born and raised Alton, Illinois, which is where he currently resides with his son, James.
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How Is Sinusitis Spread
You can get it the same way you get cold and flu — by breathing it in or passing it from your hands to your mouth after touching something. Viruses get in the air after someone who is sick sneezes or coughs. They also can be passed on when someone shakes hands with someone who is sick or touches a doorknob or anything else the sick person has touched.
Essential Oils For Sinus Infections
Many essential oils that contain antimicrobial properties, make a powerful weapon against bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
If your nose is stuffy, try to dilute 1 drop of Eucalyptus Oil in 1 tbsp of carrier oil and rub it on the bridge of your nose .
Alternatively, you can use Frankincense essential oil.
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Related Conditions And Causes Of Sinus Infections
Colds, allergies, and sinus infections can cause similar symptoms, including stuffiness and headache. What’s more, both colds and allergies can cause sinus inflammation. So how can you tell the difference between these illnesses?
The truth is, even doctors can sometimes have difficulty differentiating among colds, allergies, and sinus infections. But the illnesses do present differently.
A hallmark sign that you have a sinus infection is that the illness is, as you’d expect, severely affecting your sinuses. Both colds and allergies can cause congestion and runny nose, but sinus infections typically cause an aching sensation and pressure in the face, including in the ears and teeth.
Additionally, postnasal drop, reduced sense of smell, and halitosis are typically associated with sinus infections.
The mucus associated with a sinus infection is usually green or yellow, though color alone isn’t enough to determine the cause of your nasal distress, as there are many reasons your nasal discharge may not be clear.
Both allergies and colds can cause sneezing, a symptom not typically seen in sinus infections. Allergies never cause fever, which is seen in both colds and sinus infections.
And if your symptoms last more than 10 days, you most likely don’t have a cold.
What Is The Link Between The Sinuses And The Ears
Sinus pressure in ear: Congestion of the sinuses often leads to a feeling of pressure in the ear, as a result of an accumulation of fluid in the ear canals. This occurs despite the absence of a direct connection between the sinuses and the ear. The Eustachian tube, which is a narrow passage connecting the ear and throat, drains the middle ear into the part of the throat that is behind the nose called the nasopharynx.
Eric L. Winarsky, M.D. contributes to topics such as Otolaryngology.
Cold and flu season isnt quite over yet. If you have congestion that includes sinus pressure, you may have a coldor it could be a sinus infection. How can you be sure that its one or the other, and when is it time to make an appointment with your doctor?
Eric L. Winarsky, M.D., an otolaryngologist and surgeon with Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group, helps answer the 5 most Googled questions about nasal inflammation and sinus infections.
If you feel pressure behind your eyes and cheeks, have a worsening headache, cough, fever, bad breath, fatigue, decreased sense of smell or taste, nose bleeds, clogged ears and/or postnasal drip, you may have a sinus infection and nasal inflammationand not just a cold.
As such, there is no silver bullet or one pill to take that can alleviate all the symptoms.
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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.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor
While most coldsand even sinus infectionsclear up on their own, its important to know when you need medical help. If youre having symptoms, heres when you should call a doctor:
- Your symptoms are persisting or worsening after 10 days.
- Pain and discomfort are severe.
- You have a stiff neck or swelling around the eyes.
- Youre experiencing changes in vision or mental function.
- Symptoms go away but then come back.
- You have a fever that persists beyond a few days.
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Prevention Of Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is not exactly contagious. But depending on what caused a person’s inflammation, other people may also develop the illness. For example, the common cold and flu are both contagious conditions that can lead to a sinus infection.
Taking steps to reduce your risk of contracting viral infections can help prevent sinus infections. These include:
- Practice good hygiene, such as by washing your hands often and covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze
- Get the recommended vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine
- Keep your distance from people who have upper respiratory infections
- Take steps to reduce your stress, which affects your immune system
- Keep your immune system healthy, such as by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Other ways to reduce your risk of getting a sinus infection include:
- Dont smoke cigarettes and try to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke
- Minimize your exposure to allergens and pollutants, such as by keeping your home windows closed and using a HEPA air conditioner filter, driving with your external vents closed and air conditioner on, and avoiding activities that expose you to pollen like lawn mowing and leaf blowing
- Moisten the air at home with a humidifier and avoid dry environments
- Inhale steam or use a saline nasal spray regularly
- Drink lots of water
- Irrigate your nasal passages regularly
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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Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
Sinus infection or sinusitis is common. Many times it is mild and rarely causes complications. Even sometimes it will get better in time with nothing more than enough rest and fluid. However if its complications have occurred, some could be dangerous or even life-threatening. Thats why its also important to understand the warning signs and when to seek immediate medical help!
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How Sinusitis Affects Your Hearing
Sinusitis is an infection in some part of the sinuses. A few of the symptoms associated with sinusitis are sore throat, fever, facial soreness, dizziness, pain and pressure on your cheeks and forehead, and a stuffed nasal passage. As if these symptoms are not bothersome enough, some people also experience hearing loss.
What Happen When You Have Sinusitis When you have an infection in your sinuses, they become swollen and inflamed. All the empty spaces that can be found in your bones become inflamed, and your glands begin developing more mucus than usual. All the swelling and inflammation makes it difficult to drain the mucus, which contributes to the pressure and stuffy feelings. Breathing can be tough when you are suffering from a sinus infection, and people may overmedicate before consulting with a doctor.
Your sinuses are located close to your ear canal, and when they become congested, swollen, and clogged, these issues can affect your ears hearing function. Your Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle of your ear to your throat, will become clogged, preventing fluid from moving through. Some symptoms to watch out for are:
How to Cope Addressing your concerns with an ENT specialist is important. There are also things you can do at home to help you cope. A few include:
How Is A Cholesteatoma Treated
Generally speaking, the only way to treat a cholesteatoma is to have it surgically removed. The cyst must be removed to prevent the complications that can occur if it grows larger. Cholesteatomas dont go away naturally. They usually continue to grow and cause additional problems.
Once a cholesteatoma has been diagnosed, a regimen of antibiotics, ear drops, and careful cleaning of the ear will most likely be prescribed to treat the infected cyst, reduce inflammation, and drain the ear. Your medical professional will then be able to better analyze the growth traits of the cyst and make a plan for surgical removal.
In most cases, the surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means that you dont have to stay in the hospital after the procedure. A hospital stay is only necessary if the cyst is very large or if you have a serious infection. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. After the initial surgery to remove the cyst, follow-up surgery to reconstruct any damaged portions of the inner ear and make sure that the cyst has been completely removed is often necessary.
Once the cholesteatoma is removed, youll need to attend follow-up appointments to evaluate results and ensure the cyst hasnt come back. If the cyst broke any bones in your ear, youll need a second surgery to repair them.
After surgery, some people experience temporary dizziness or taste abnormalities. These side effects almost always resolve themselves within a few days.
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Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses
Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.
Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.
You may feel pain in:
- your forehead
- on either side of your nose
- in your upper jaws and teeth
- between your eyes
This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.