How Sinusitis Affects Your Hearing
by Victoria ENT | Jul 16, 2019 | News |
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 Diagnosed
To determine whether you have a cholesteatoma, your doctor will examine the inside of your ear using an otoscope. This medical device allows your doctor to see if there are signs of a growing cyst. Specifically, they will look for a visible deposit of skin cells or a large mass of blood vessels in the ear.
Your doctor may need to order a CT scan if there are no obvious signs of a cholesteatoma. A CT scan might also be ordered if youre showing certain symptoms, such as dizziness and facial muscle weakness. A CT scan is a painless imaging test that captures images from a cross section of your body. The scan allows your doctor to see inside your ear and skull. This can help them better visualize the cyst or rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
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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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.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Your symptoms last longer than 10 to 14 days or you have a cold that gets worse after 7 days.
- You have a severe headache that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medicine.
- You have a fever.
- You still have symptoms after taking all of your antibiotics properly.
- You have any changes in your vision during a sinus infection.
A green or yellow discharge does not mean that you definitely have a sinus infection or need antibiotics.
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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.
What Are Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Sinus Infection
If acute sinus infection is caused by viral infection, it is usually easy to treat or even will relieve on its own . Typically, it lasts a few days, 7-10 days, and then will get better. But if it is caused by bacterial infection, it is relatively more difficult to cope and usually will take one or some of the following paths:
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Can A Sinus Infection Cause Hearing Loss
The last thing you want to be asking yourself on top of When is this sinus infection going to end? is, Can a sinus infection cause hearing loss? But if thats the situation you find yourself in, you want answers, and quick.
So: Can a sinus infection cause hearing loss? In short, yes. But how? What does sinus infection hearing loss look like? How is it best treated? Sinus Solutions of South Florida is here to address these questions in-depth. In the process, we hope to help you identify a pathway to better hearing, better sinus health, and better everyday living.
Psst If youre wondering if you have sinusitis, a sinus infection, or a cold, check out this article on the difference between sinusitis and a cold.
How Is Smelly Earwax Treated
Its important to not stick objects in your ear in an attempt to get rid of the wax. This includes cotton swabs and paper clips. Trying to dig out the problem can cause objects to lodge further into the ear. It can also seriously damage your eardrum or ear canal.
Home remedies will partly depend on the cause of your smelly earwax.
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Sinusitis & Tinnitus: Finding Sinus Ear Ringing Treatment
Fortunately, sinusitis-related tinnitus tends to go away with treatment of the sinus infection. As a minimally-invasive procedure, balloon sinuplasty can be performed in-office in less than 20 minutes on patients with a medical sinus obstruction.
During this procedure, your otolaryngologist uses an endoscope to place a tiny balloon within your sinus cavity. Once inflated, this balloon can expand your sinuses, restoring drainage to areas that were previously blocked or too small for mucus to flow properly.
The procedure has the added benefit of requiring little-to-no recovery time, and the majority of balloon sinuplasty before and after testimonies speak to patients finding years of much-needed sinus relief.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you a lot of questions in order to develop a detailed medical history and find out about your symptoms. They will also do a physical examination. During the exam, your care provider will check your ears, nose and throat for any swelling, draining or blockage. An endoscope may be used to look inside the nose. In some cases, you might be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. If you needed an imaging exam, your provider would order a computed tomography scan.
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When My Minor Symptoms Became Not
On day six, I woke up with a severe headache one like I’d never had before, which was scary. It lasted the whole weekend. When I got to work on Monday, I told my doctor about my headache, and he mentioned I could have a sinus infection. But, as a person who hates taking antibiotics unless I really need to, I decided to just wait to see if my symptoms got worse.
Things never really got much worse for me. Just a few days later, I was left with only lingering symptoms a headache and some strange nasal congestion that wasn’t really even congestion. About a week and a half after my symptoms had started, I was finally feeling like I was on the mend.
My symptoms started long before COVID-19 was spreading in the community, so I didnt think twice about it being more than just allergies. Plus, I didnt really have any of the most common COVID-19 symptoms. I never had a fever and my cough was slight and infrequent. Looking back, I may have had a little bit of chest pain here and there, but only when I’d cough which, in itself, was rare.
But, then I got some news.
Sinus Infections And Other Health Effects
Aside from ear pain and dizziness, a sinus infection can also cause temporary hearing loss. Sinus-related hearing loss occurs when the infection spreads to the ears, specifically the middle ear. Hearing can become affected if inflammation puts pressure on the ear drum. This inflammation can cause discharge of fluid and the build-up of fluid in the eardrum, which leads to pain and temporary hearing loss.
When the fluid and pressure are relieved the hearing loss will reverse, and you can go back to hearing how you previously did, prior to the infection. If the fluid does not drain commonly seen in children the continuous pressure can cause the eardrum to burst, which contributes to permanent hearing loss.
Its important to prevent sinus infections as well as treating them right away, so that you dont encounter any complications.
Other health complications that can stem from a sinus infection are headaches and throat problems, such as coughing or a sore throat.
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Muffled Hearing In One Ear After A Cold
Even though some people have muffled hearing while sick with the common cold, it can also develop after a cold. This can happen when a cold progresses to a sinus infection or a middle ear infection. In this case, drainage or congestion from these secondary infections causes clogged ears.
Common treatment options for muffled hearing include:
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.
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Symptoms Of An Ear Infection
The primary symptoms of an ear infection include acute ear pain and hearing loss. You will have the sensation that your hearing is muffled and you may experience referred pain to your throat or fluid in the middle ear.
When youre experiencing an ear infection, you may not necessarily see a change in color in or outside your ears.
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.
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Throat Irritation And Cough
As the discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.
It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.
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.
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Sinus Infections: Your Top 5 Questions Answered
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.
Over-the-counter options include nasal decongestants and nasal steroid sprays. Some people try saline spray and nasal irrigation to find relief. Others stick with over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain and fever symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids, applying warm compresses to the sinus area, light facial massage and vaporizer use can also keep congestion moving on the way out.
As such, there is no silver bullet or one pill to take that can alleviate all the symptoms.
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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