Stuffy Ears and Sinuses: The Sinus-Ear Connection

Stuffy Ears and Sinuses: The Sinus-Ear Connection


By Dr. Manish Prakash , Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)

If your sinuses (tissue or a bone cavity) are clogged, then in addition to having a blocked nose, you may also exhibit symptoms of dizziness, pain and a muffled ear sensation. The ears and the sinuses are interconnected in the head; hence, blockage in the sinus can also cause problems in the ear pressure. Getting rid of the congestion in the sinuses can help ease the pressure.

These methods can be helpful to eliminate the congestion:

  1. Medications: Pain relievers such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help with congestion in the sinuses. You can also use nasal sprays to relieve clogged ears.
  2. Moisture: Holding a moist washcloth or using a saline spray can help relieve congestion from the nose. This will also help in easing pressure from your ears. You can also use humidifiers to prevent your sinuses from getting dry.

Complications and Prevention-

You might also feel dizzy because of the pressure build up in the inner ear. In this scenario, do not make any fast movement such as sitting or standing up quickly. Drink plenty of water and other fluids (total fluid intake in a day should be around 2-3 liters) to keep your body well hydrated and avoid salt, alcohol and caffeine. These foods can adversely affect circulation of blood and fluctuations in blood flow can increase pressure in your ears.

If you have sinusitis, travelling in a car on an uphill mountainous road or flying in an airplane can cause significant ear problems. It is best to avoid a flight if you suffer from sinus complications. You can use oral decongestants or nasal sprays to relieve Heavy Period During Early Pregnancy Scary?e pressure before you start your journey. Underwater activities such as scuba diving can also aggravate ear complications if you have sinus problems.