If I Keep Getting Sinus Infections How Can I Protect My Ears
Good hygiene and self-care are always the first steps in protecting yourself. Make sure to say well hydrated to keep your mucous membranes in your sinuses healthy and resistant to irritation.
If you have significant allergies, try to avoid triggers such as dust, animal fur or trees that can cause hay fever or an allergic response. Avoiding other irritants such as cigarette smoke can help reduce the risk of sinusitis.
Finally, if you do suffer from chronic or recurrent sinusitis despite taking appropriate care, come and speak to one of our audiologists in store. They will be able to assess your hearing and recommend hearing aids if required or signpost you to further services.
To learn more about your hearing and hearing loss, visit our hearing loss hub.
1. Hung SH, Lin HC, Kao LT, Wu CS, Chung SD. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is associated with chronic rhinosinusitis: population-based study. J Laryngol Otol. 2016 130:521-525. doi:10.1017/S0022215116000906
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
Do You Have Lpr: Reaching A Diagnosis
If you think you have LPR, get in touch with an ENT doctor or an otolaryngologist to investigate the nature of your symptoms. You may be recommended to take the following tests:
- Upper endoscopy: Although this procedure is known to diagnose GERD, it can also be helpful in diagnosing LPR. Instead of investigating the esophagus, the examiner can view the upper part of the throat and use physical manifestations of the condition along the throat. You can learn more in our previous post: A Complete Overview of Upper GI Endoscopy.
- pH test: Similar to an endoscopy, a pH monitoring test involves the insertion of a catheter down the nose to detect acid. This can help localize the damage from the reflux, which will determine if you have LPR or GERD.
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Ear Infections In Gerd Patients
Chronic otitis media is a long-term ear problem resulting in the perforation in the eardrum. When left untreated, the middle ear can get infected with liquids. Ear problems are another known manifestation of GERD. A study was keen to understand the relationship between GERD and OME.
The scientists tested out antireflux medication on a patient with GERD and OME to understand whether reflux medication would directly alleviate OME symptoms. Scientists found that antireflux therapy and other lifestyle modifications associated with GERD improved both GERD and OME symptoms.
Publishers have two interesting suggestions regarding GERD-related OME:
Recent studies detected pepsin, a stomach enzyme apparent in reflux contents, in the fluid stuck in the middle ear. This reaffirms the suspicion that GERD may in fact be related to the development of OME.
Another study followed patients between ages 1 to 17 with OME and used anti-reflux therapy to improve the signs of GERD. This study also confirmed that anti-reflux medication helps with patients with resistant-therapy OME, leading them to believe that OME may be directly related to GERD.
What Can Help Ease A Sore Throat And Ear Pain
OTC pain relievers like Tylenol and Advil or Motrin can help relieve your symptoms. However, you should check with your doctor before using OTC drugs to make sure that they will not negatively interact with any other medications that you take or conditions that you have.
Cough drops can soothe the back of the throat, as can cold foods and fluids. You can also apply heating pads or ice packs on your neck or near your affected ear.
Keeping your upper body elevated if you have acid reflux can help prevent acid from coming up the esophagus into the back of your throat. This position can also encourage the auditory tube to drain if it is clogged with mucus or debris.
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Sinus Infection And The Eustachian Tube
When an upper respiratory infection is present, such as a sinus infection, parts of the nasal cavity become infected. The inflammation causes swelling and blockages in the eustachian tubes and other drainage passageways of the sinuses. As the trapped fluid begins to accumulate, the pressure starts to build on the tubes causing a lot of discomforts. If not appropriately treated, the buildup could lead to sinusitis or otitis media.
How Can Sinus Infections Spread To The Ear
Your airways and sinuses form complex pathways, one of which is known as the Eustachian tube. This small passageway connects your middle ear, nose and sinuses. Its function is to equalise pressure in your ear but this can leave you open to infections in the sinuses which could eventually affect the tube and ear.
When an infection produces a lot of mucus and fluid, the Eustachian tube can become blocked, known as Eeustachian tube dysfunction.
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Home Remedies For Clogged Ears Due To Sinus Infections
Here are some additional home remedies that can help alleviate ear problems associated with sinus infections and even wax build-up.
- Yawning helps redistribute the fluid in your ear.
- Take a hot, steamy shower.
- Make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water and pour it into the ear.
- Chew gum as it can help move wax out of the ear.
- Combine rubbing alcohol and vinegar and use the mixture as ear drops.
- Pinch your nose and blow to pop your ears.
- Drop warm olive oil into your ear once again this breaks up wax.
- Combine rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar as ear drops to help treat infection.
- Apply warm compresses to the ears.
- Gargle with warm water and salt.
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:
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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.
How Do Sinus Infections Cause Hearing Loss
Hearing loss from a sinus infection is a direct result of fluid or mucus flooding and blocking the Eustachian tube. People often describe hearing loss from a sinus infection as sounding like being underwater or, in some cases, just like having earplugs in.
If youre experiencing this type of hearing loss you should see by a medical professional as it could mean that any pre-existing infection has become worse. If youre not sure if you have hearing loss, you can test your hearing free online.
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Cholesteatoma: Causes Symptoms And Diagnosis
A cholesteatoma is an abnormal, noncancerous skin growth that can develop in the middle section of your ear, behind the eardrum. It may be a birth defect, but its most commonly caused by repeated middle ear infections.
A cholesteatoma often develops as a cyst, or sac, that sheds layers of old skin. As these dead skin cells accumulate, the growth can increase in size and destroy the delicate bones of the middle ear. This may affect hearing, balance, and the function of facial muscles.
How To Treat A Sinus Infection
In the case of sinus infections, pain medication is rarely prescribed. Patients will be encouraged to try a sinus rinse using a Neti Pot before moving on to more serious interventions.
In cases of acute sinusitis, patients may also experience cold-like symptoms. If these symptoms dont get better or appear to get worse after 5-7 days, your doctor may decide to treat the sinus infection with antibiotics along with nasal decongestant, nasal sprays, and saline solution.
In severe cases of sinus infections, your doctor may decide to prescribe steroids.
Theres only one thing worse than suffering from a sinus infection or an ear infection: suffering from both at the same time. Unfortunately, anything that causes nasal swelling can cause swelling of the middle ear space because the nose is congested. So cases in which you have a sinus infection and ear infection at the same time can be especially painful.
When it comes to different infections in the ear, nose, and throat, its easy to get your wires crossed and find that you arent quite sure whats going on in your body.
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.
Ear Problems: Ear Pressure Pain
When you feel your ears pop, you know your Eustachian tubes are opening properly. Their function is to equalize internal and external pressure thats why you experience ear-popping with elevation changes on airplanes. When the tubes dont open properly, you can have ear pressure pain. On a normal day, the Eustachian tube opens about 100 times. But when its dysfunctional, such as when dust or allergies are irritating the lining, you may need to decongest it. A topical nasal spray can help. Very rarely, says Jones, a malfunctioning Eustachian tube could be a sign of blockage by head or neck cancer.
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How Long Do Sinus Infections Last
During this time of year, it can be difficult to know whether your sniffles are caused by allergies, a cold or something else. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 31 million Americans are diagnosed with sinus infections each year. Understanding the signs of a sinus infection, including how long it can last, is key for seeking proper treatment.
Treatments From Your Gp
If these treatments don’t 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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Relieving Sinus Pressure Inside The Ear
Internal ear pressure is very uncomfortable. When fluid is present, a person can feel mild pain, experience muffled sound, or feel like that have water inside their ear. Without eliminating the sinus pressure, these symptoms can be disruptive to your everyday lifestyle. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to find relief.
Balloon Sinuplasty For Sinusitis And Tinnitus At Sinus Solutions Of South Florida
Dr. Napoleon G. Bequer, a leading Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor in Tampa and West Palm Beach, has seen balloon sinuplasty transform hundreds of lives. For more information on what to expect after balloon sinuplasty or any of our many other procedures contact Sinus Solutions of South Florida today!
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What Causes Swimmers Ear
A common source of the infection is increased moisture trapped in the ear canal, bathing, or showering, increased humidity or living in warm moist climates may also contribute to this common infection. When water is trapped in the ear canal, bacteria that normally inhabit the skin and ear canal multiply, causing infection and irritation of the ear canal. If the infection gets worse it may affect other areas of the ear. Swimmers ear needs to be treated to reduce pain and eliminate any effect it may have on your hearing.
What Causes Fungal Sinusitis
There are four types of fungal sinusitis:
Saprophytic FungusThis happens when fungus or mold grows on top of mucus or mucous crusts inside the nose. In this case, the fungus is not really infecting the nasal tissue, its just living off the mucus in the nose. This may not cause any additional symptoms that were not already present, and treatment is simple removal of the crusts with nasal washes or other methods.
Fungus BallThis is caused by fungus getting caught in one of the sinuses, forming clumps of material that often contain bacteria as well. This is most often in the maxillary, or cheek, sinus, and usually occurs in patients whose immune system is working fine. Often there are no symptoms, other than slight discomfort until the fungus ball grows large enough to block off the sinus. This form of fungal sinusitis requires simple surgery to open and wash out the sinus. Anti-fungal therapy is generally not prescribed.
Invasive Fungal SinusitisThis is a severe infection of the nasal and sinus lining that can lead to the destruction of nasal/sinus tissue. There are three different forms of invasive fungal sinusitis:
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Do You Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
A viral sinus infection will likely resolve itself on its own, but it can take a few weeks to do so. If the sinus infection is caused by bacteria, it is likely to need antibiotics in order to resolve. But antibiotics arent a cure-all. They will not cure a sinus infection that was caused by a virus or an irritant in the air.
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.
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Nose Problems: How To Stop Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds happen due to a number of different causes dry air, allergies, colds, migraine headaches, even cocaine use. Sometimes a nosebleed can be due to blood clotting disorders or being on blood-thinning medication. To stop a nosebleed, sit and lean forward slightly. Dont recline keeping your head above your heart slows the bleeding and allows the blood to come out through your nose, instead of going down your throat. Squeeze the soft portion of your nose between the tip and the bridge with your index finger and thumb and hold until the bleeding stops. Seek medical help if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Sinusitis affects the nasal cavities and is also known as rhinosinusitis. Although it can have a number of different causes the most common is a virus. Other causes include bacteria or even a fungus. Sinus pain can also be triggered by issues such as a tooth infection or allergies but this isnt actually sinusitis. Suffering from sinusitis can be a short-term problem – acute sinusitis usually lasts for under a month. However, some people can suffer from chronic sinusitis which can take more than 12 weeks to resolve. Whether your sinusitis is acute or chronic there are some key symptoms to look out for.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and can clear up on its own but there are exceptions to this. Especially if you have a fever or facial pain that lasts for more than 10 days you may need to seek medical help as there may be another underlying condition that is also contributing to how you feel.