Breathe Easily Again
Do you or your child have a chronically stuffy nose? Are you tired of not being able to smell things? Chronic sinus issues can be more than a nuisance. They can affect your quality of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We believe the first step to better health is understanding how your sinuses work, the root cause of your sinus issues, and learning what you can do to take control of your health.
How Your Sinuses Work
Your sinuses are hollow cavities in the front of your skull and behind your facial bones. You have 4 different pairs of sinuses near your nose and eyes:
- Maxillary sinuses
- Frontal sinuses
- Ethmoid sinuses
- Sphenoid sinuses
Your maxillary sinuses are the largest, and are located behind your cheekbones. When these sinuses are inflamed, you will feel pressure at your cheeks.
Your frontal sinuses are located in your forehead, just above each eye. When you have a sinus headache in your forehead, these are the affected sinuses.
Your ethmoid sinuses are located on either side of your nose, between your eyes. A sinus headache related to the ethmoid sinuses can cause a dull ache at the bridge of your nose.
The sphenoid sinuses are located behind your eyes, near your pituitary gland. When these sinuses are inflamed or infected, it can cause a headache at the top of your head.
The Connection Between Sinus Issues and Ear Infections
Your sinuses (and your child’s) are connected to your ears by the Eustachian tube. The tube is lined with mucus, just like your sinuses. That means a problem in your sinuses can cause a problem in your ears, such as stuffiness or infection.
Common Sinus Issues
The most common sinus issues include:
- Temporary stuffiness from cold, flu, or other respiratory illness
- Allergic rhinitis (irritation, sneezing, and congestion due to allergies)
- Sinus infections (sinusitis)
- Recurrent sinusitis (4 or more sinus infections in a year, with periods of wellness in between)
- Chronic sinusitis (sinus infections lasting more than 12 weeks)
Who Is More at Risk for Sinus Issues
Some people are more at risk for sinus issues than others. That’s usually because of an environmental condition or health condition, including:
- You have a cold.
- You have allergies/sensitivities.
- You smoke.
- You have a weakened immune system.
- You have a deviated septum or other problem in the nose.
- You spend a lot of time with young children such as a daycare or kindergarten.
- Your baby is exclusively bottle-fed.
That last item is not to shame a new mom who needs to bottle feed her baby. It’s simply to address the fact that studies show that breastfeeding helps to reduce ear, nose, and throat infections in babies and young children. And the longer a child is breastfed, the greater their increased resistance to such infections.
Sinus infections happen when your sinuses become inflamed. This causes the fluid in your sinuses to build up, rather than drain properly. The fluid buildup can then thicken and provide a chance for a virus or bacteria to thrive. Any of the risk factors above make it more likely for you that a cold or allergies can cause a sinus infection.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
A sinus infection typically has symptoms that are longer-lasting and more severe than a common cold or the reaction you might have with seasonal allergies. Symptoms can include:
- Pain or pressure in your forehead, cheeks, behind your eyes, or in your ears. (Sinus headache)
- Thick, sticky mucus when you blow your nose.
- The mucus may be yellowish green rather than clear.
- Mucus drips down the back of your throat during the day and especially at night (postnasal drip).
- Inability to breathe clearly through your nose.
- Decreased sense of smell and taste.
- Low grade fever (not always, but possible)
- Sinus issues are worse in the morning.
Many people see a doctor and ask for antibiotics for a sinus infection. But if a virus caused your sinusitis, antibiotics won’t help.
Sinus Infection FAQs
Q: Is a sinus infection contagious?
A: No. While the cold or respiratory illness that caused a sinus infection is contagious, sinusitis is not.
Q: What’s the difference between migraines and sinus headaches associated with a sinus infection?
A: Since migraines can cause a runny nose, congestion, and facial pain, just like a sinus infection, it’s easy to confuse the two. The big difference between the two is your nasal discharge. With a migraine, the discharge is clear. With sinusitis, it’s thick and discolored.
Q: Can sinus issues cause dizziness?
A: Yes. Inflamed or infected sinuses can cause a feeling of stuffed-up ears, dizziness, and can even cause ear infections.
Q: Can I prevent sinusitis?
A: In many instances, yes, you can prevent sinus infections from ever happening. Keep reading to learn more about how making some adjustments in your lifestyle, nutrition, and overall health can help you do that.
How Cima Health Can Help
Cima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that target the root cause of your sinus issues, or those of your child. Your care will start out with a comprehensive analysis that will allow us to tailor treatments to your needs and goals. We may also ask questions about your work and home life, medications you take, known allergies, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with non-invasive and alternative treatments that can help you breathe easier, reduce the likelihood of sinus infections, and restore your health. We also hope to inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.
Diagnosing and treating chronic sinus issues involves several treatment modalities, all of which you can receive in one location. They include:
Let’s take a look at how each of these areas works together to provide you with better health and inspires you to make lifestyle changes to prevent problems in the future.
Believe it or not, regular chiropractic care can help keep your sinuses clear. Cervical (neck) adjustments, in particular, can relieve the tension on your brain stem, which allows your throat to become more relaxed. This promotes better drainage of fluid from your sinus passages. As previously discussed, sinus infections happen when fluid builds up in your sinuses, allowing germs to grow.
In addition, chiropractic adjustments can relieve you of any aches and pains you’re having that are keeping you from living an active lifestyle.
Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors are all highly trained professionals and include:
If your child has sinus issues or chronic ear infections, or you’re pregnant or lactating, you may want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natalie, because she specializes in the care of women and children.
In many cases, sinus issues can be resolved with dietary changes and boosting your immune system. Our functional medicine team will run a blood chemistry analysis which will show any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, tell us about your immune system, and indicate if you have any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms as well. You may not know this, but a simple thing like a food sensitivity can cause sinus issues.
After a comprehensive analysis, we’ll develop a nutritional plan and healthy diet that can help boost your immune system. We may also recommend supplements to help you support a healthy immune system and sinus health. Lastly, we may recommend that you start probiotics. Studies show that your gut health is closely related to sinus health, and that probiotics may help reduce nasal inflammation.
And of course, all of the providers here at Cima Health will encourage you to quit smoking, for your overall health and wellbeing, and not just to reduce your sinus issues.
Physical FitnessRegular exercise is proven to boost your immunity and can temporarily relieve nasal congestions. If you have seasonal allergies, you may want to exercise indoors during allergy season. Our physical fitness team of personal trainers can help develop an exercise and weight loss regimen to help you increase your testosterone levels. We will start with your current capabilities and help you gain the strength and confidence to reach your goals. In particular, we may recommend weightlifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), both of which have been shown to increase testosterone levels naturally. You should know that chronic endurance exercise such as running and cycling can actually lower your testosterone. Known as overtraining, excessive endurance exercise can lower your testosterone from 20-40%. The good news is that after a few months of moderate (not excessive) exercise, your testosterone levels should return to normal.
What Our Clients Are Saying
Book an Appointment
If you’re ready to breathe easier and get to the bottom of what’s causing your sinus issues, we can help. Book an appointment today to determine the root cause of your symptoms and get a treatment plan tailored to you.