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Why & How Your Sinusitis & Tinnitus May Be Connected

Why & How Your Sinusitis & Tinnitus May Be Connected

Did you know that sinus attacks affect more than 37 million US citizens every year?

Sinus infection can affect anyone at any point in life. You must be thinking about what sinus is. It is a structure of four paired cavities (spaces) inside the head. These spaces are connected by narrow channels. Under normal circumstances, these sinuses are filled with air. However, these cavities can become clogged and fill up with fluid. When this happens, bacteria and other microorganisms can grow inside the cavity and cause sinusitis or sinus infection. The inflammation and swelling together or alone of the tissue lining inside these cavities as a result of infection is called sinusitis.

While not very common, untreated sinus infections can become life-threatening because they can infect your brain and cause life-threatening diseases such as meningitis. It can even damage your eyes or nearby bones. A person suffering from sinusitis usually experiences symptoms like cough, runny nose, sinus pressure, headache, congestion, and ear pain. It is bad enough to deal with the annoying symptoms of cold, stuffy ears, and pressure in the cavities, but your troubles would rarely end there. Since the ears, nose, and neck are closely connected, a problem in one area often gives rise to another in a different area. Sinusitis may even be connected with Tinnitus. You can read our in-depth article on Tinnitus causes to better understand the reasons why we suffer from ringing in the ears. It is also worth mentioning foods that trigger tinnitus so that you may avoid them.

Can Nasal Congestion Cause Ringing in the Ears?

The middle ear is connected to the throat with the help of a narrow passage called the Eustachian tube. The tube is hollow and open at one end. It balances the pressure with the help of air flowing inside the middle ear. The tube opens as a response to your sneezing, swallowing, or yawning. This mechanism prevents the build-up of air and fluid pressure within the ear canal behind the eardrum.

The audio channel can be blocked from the outside by excessive accumulation of ear wax. This channel can also get blocked from inside the eardrum as a result of infection. A number of conditions can increase the production of nasal mucosa in the cavities, such as nasal allergies and asthma. This, in turn, results in fluid build-up inside the Eustachian tube. When the Eustachian tube is inserted, you may not clearly hear how the sounds will be muffled. The sensation of pressure, pain, and fullness in the ear space are also not uncommon. Allergies, sinus infections, colds, or the flu can cause the holes in the Eustachian tube to be partially blocked.

All five senses are connected and interrelated, so when you feel swelling and obstruction in your nose, throat, and sinuses, your ears may be affected. Excessive mucus production that occurs when histamines are activated can cause pressure or blockage in the ear, along with discomfort, itching, swelling, overstrain, dizziness, and even dizziness or balance problems. Tissue inflammation and mucus secretion are an important part of the cause of Eustachian tube dysfunction. Experiencing such conditions can put pressure on the nostrils and inner ear, which can make the nerves worse and, in the worst case, make muffled sounds with hearing loss. Since the middle ear amplifies and transmits sound between the inner and outer ear, any inflammation or blockage can damage hearing.

Ringing in the ear is a common condition. Allergies and sinus problems can occasionally cause a temporary ringing inside the ear. This condition is called tinnitus. A rushed, buzzing, or ringing sound that you might hear can also occur if it's not caused by any outside noise. Tinnitus is usually mistaken as a disease, but it is more of a symptom of an underlying cause such as hearing loss, ear injury, or nervous system disorders. However, if this ringing or rushing sound is associated with other symptoms of allergies or sinus problems, such as swelling, itching, congestion, or sneezing, it is usually temporary tinnitus caused by congestion, inflammation, and fluids. Still, it is better to understand how long does Tinnitus lasts to monitor your condition incase it exceeds the normal time period.

Sinusitis and Tinnitus Connections

Noise, as understood till now, is considered the actual cause behind tinnitus, but it's not the only one. The middle ear and sinus infections cause nearly as many cases of tinnitus, and severe neck injuries increase the risk of tinnitus by more than a third. These were conclusions based on an Australian study of people over the age of 55 in 2015.

Tinnitus is a side effect of ear and sinus infections. People with ear or sinus infections have a 30% higher risk of developing tinnitus and a 35% higher risk. Overall, the researchers estimate that the two diseases cause 12% of all cases of tinnitus.

Tinnitus is usually associated with noise in the ear, with both whistling (like the ocean) and ringing. Suffering from chronic sinus infections doesn't help because the cavities often drain into the throat, which can lead to inflammation and infection. The middle ear also drains from the neck and, if infected, can block the Eustachian tube and prevent fluid from leaking from the middle ear. This is one of the causes of tinnitus.

Sometimes the noise in your ears can sound like your heartbeat. This could mean that you have a blocked ear canal, or it could mean that you have problems with blood vessels, such as high blood pressure. On the other hand, a tall ring usually indicates damage or injury to the ear, most likely a loud sound. Although not common, throbbing tinnitus can occur during which patients claim to hear a sound similar to the rhythm of their heart. Increased blood flow inside your ear usually results in this type of tinnitus. This ring tone may decrease, but it may be permanent.

If you have developed tinnitus immediately after a respiratory infection and you couldn't observe any improvement within five to seven days, then it can be a warning sign for a more serious cause behind that ringing in the ear. 

How to Stop Ringing in the Ears From the Sinus?

Of course, tinnitus is not a pleasant experience. At worst, it can be completely debilitating. No matter how severe your tinnitus is, the cure is to treat the cause.

If you are suffering from nasal congestion, then the chances are that you have developed sinusitis already. To reduce the sensation of pain caused by sinus pressure, apply a warm damp cloth to the face and forehead several times a day. Nasal saline rinsing can help remove sticky, thick mucus from the nose.

Drinking water and juice can keep you hydrated, which in turn can the lining to produce a thinner mucus. You can use an over-the-counter medicine such as guaifenesin, which dilutes the mucus. Use a humidifier in your bedroom to humidify the air. Open the shower and sit in the bathroom with the door closed to surround yourself with steam. Consider using an over-the-counter corticosteroid nasal spray. There are over-the-counter medications available that reduce blood flow, but you may want to consider asking your doctor before trying.

If your symptoms don't improve within a few weeks, you likely have a bacterial infection and should see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Additional tests can be done to find out the triggers for your sinusitis.

If chronic sinusitis does not improve with time and medication, surgery to remove tooth decay, repair a deviated septum, or remove polyps may be helpful. If significant symptoms of sinusitis persist, breast surgery may be indicated despite appropriate drug treatment. Head CT will be recommended before surgery is recommended to better understand the causes of the patient's symptoms and the extent of sinus disease present. Most often, cavity surgery can be performed using endoscopes, which allow a clear view of the nose, and do you know the best part about it? You don't need any incisions for this on your face.

Balloon Sinuplasty Is the Treatment of Choice

In 2005, FDA approved the use of balloon sinuplasty technology for tinnitus. Since that time, thousands of cavity patients have found relief from balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty is a short (usually one hour) in-office procedure that dilates inflamed passages and flushes out infected cavities. Most patients report that nasal breathing improves during the procedure and that the pressure in the cavity and head decreases immediately.

Usually, within 2-3 weeks of the procedure, the nose and sinuses heal completely, and the sinus infection cycle is stopped. Fortunately, sinus-related tinnitus tends to disappear with the treatment of sinus infection. As a minimally invasive procedure, balloon sinuplasty can be performed in the office in less than 20 minutes in patients with medical cavity obstruction.

Balloon sinusitis is a less invasive alternative to chronic sinusitis surgery. The procedure can lead to extraordinary and positive results. Balloon sinuplasty is a balloon treatment of chronic sinusitis. This is a quick and minimally invasive office procedure that requires little or no recovery time. During this procedure, the otolaryngologist will place a small balloon into the cavity with the help of an endoscope. Once inflated, this balloon can expand your cavities and restore drainage in areas that were previously blocked or too small for proper mucus flow.

The balloon sinuplasty procedure is short (often takes less than 30 minutes) and can be done in a studio with the option of general anesthesia. This procedure has the added benefit of requiring little or no recovery time, and most balloon sinuplasty before and after testimony speaks to patients who have been finding much-needed breast relief for years. It is short, but it brings great benefits. Many balloon sinuplasty patients report long-term relief from chronic sinusitis and allergies. The procedure proves to be tremendous especially considering the improvements and recovery time of the sinuplasty balloon, which is quite minimal.

This procedure is useful because it provides immediate and lasting relief from acute sinus pressure, has a quick and mild recovery period of less than one week, stops chronic sinus infection, treats Eustachian tube dysfunction, restores the olfactory senses and gustatory, breathes and restores sleep and improve the quality of life.

The risks arising from these procedures are few. The most common are tissue injuries and infections. More serious problems, such as brain or eye injuries, are rare. As with other procedures, you should first talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Get more feedback if you're still worried.