If you've ever had a severe sinus infection that was uncontrolled, chances are you've experienced the oddity of visiting a doctor only to learn that you now have an ear infection too. If you're experiencing a sinus infection, it's important to prevent it from triggering an infection in your ears. Read on to learn how the two are linked and what you can do to help prevent the infection from spreading.
How The Two Are Linked
Infected sinuses can cause a lot of problems for other parts of your body because they're connected to many other parts of your body. For example, chances are you've heard of nasal drip. The sinuses can drain into the throat, which is a fairly irritating problem to have even when you're healthy. However, when you have a sinus infection, nasal drip can potentially spread an infection to your throat. In the same way, your sinuses are also attached to the eustachian tubes inside your ears. When the sinuses become infected, infected mucus can potentially travel through your Eustachian tubes and spread germs into your ears, causing an infection.
Flush It Out
One of the first things you can do to prevent this problem is to keep excess mucus from backing up into your ears. First and foremost, try to avoid sniffling when you have a running nose. Instead, blow your nose to get rid of the excess mucus.
Secondly, you can use a neti pot to flush infected mucus out of your sinus passageways. Neti pots don't contain chemicals or harmful substances, so you can use them regularly to help keep your ears safe.
Another way to help protect your ears is to make sure that your sinuses aren't constricted. If your sinuses are swollen and constricted, infected mucus will have a harder time getting out, and may back up.
In addition to common decongestants that help to thin out mucus and allow it to flow more easily, you can give a steroid nasal spray a try. These sprays help to reduce inflammation, opening up the sinuses almost instantly and improving breathing and mucus flow.
If you have a sinus infection, make sure to visit a doctor to have your sinuses, ears, and throat examined for safety's sake. Your doctor can prescribe medication and antibiotics to help your immune system to beat the infection, preventing further secondary infections from forming in your ears and throat.