It’s easy to take for granted some aspects of our day to day lives.
You don’t realize how nice it is to breathe clearly until you have a cold, for example. All of a sudden, you long for yesterday and the day before.
The same could be said for our hearing.
If you’ve ever suffered from a sinus and ear infection, you know it’s not much fun.
Muffled hearing, stinging pain, and more trouble plague those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from this type of bacterial issue.
The average person needs to have some base knowledge of these kinds of infections in case they ever occur.
Proper understanding and treatment can help to mitigate some of the unpleasant nature of these infections.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Symptoms to Look Out For
An ear infection and a sinus infection are very similar maladies.
They have a number of overlapping symptoms, yet, at the end of the day, they are different beasts.
It’s important to be able to determine which of the two types of infections you have if you hope to treat them properly.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
How can you tell when you have a sinus infection?
The most common symptoms include a high fever, pressure behind the eyes and cheeks, and, most notably, yellow or green mucus that appears in the back of your throat.
This mucus likely drips down from your nose. Yuck!
In addition to those significant symptoms, those who are suffering from a sinus infection might notice they have a lessened sense of smell, a runny or stuffy nose, or headaches that seem to last forever.
Pain in the teeth and jaw, coughing, and a general sense of fatigue or nausea are also sometimes symptoms of a sinus infection.
When a person experiences a sinus infection, it’s the result of the nasal passage of the body getting blocked or congested.
Despite popular belief, a loss of hearing is not actually a symptom of a sinus infection.
A muffled feeling in the ear is indeed a possible result of a sinus infection– but the actual hearing loss should not occur.
Ear Infection Symptoms
An ear infection has a few overlapping symptoms with that of a sinus infection.
For example, it is possible that a person with an ear infection would feel unusually nauseous or fatigued.
It’s also very possible that they’ll experience long-lasting headaches and similar pains.
However, the main symptoms to look out for when it comes to ear infections are much different than those we mentioned when discussing sinus infections. They focus more on, as you would expect, the ear.
If a person is experiencing a great deal of pain within their ear– feelings of fullness, or sharp stabbing pains, they might be suffering from an ear infection. Another telltale sign will be ear drainage. This is liquid of a certain discoloration that might leak out from the ears.
It’s this drainage that can be the easiest sign to identify. A muffled or total loss of hearing is also possible as the result of an ear infection. Whether hearing will be lost entirely will depend on the severity of the infection.
Children often get ear infections far more than adults do. Adults more frequently get sinus infections. If a child is irritable and constantly pulling at their ear, they might have an ear infection that needs to be looked into.
Treating A Sinus and Ear Infection
Even if you feel certain of what kind of infection you have, it still is generally a good idea to seek medical attention and confirm your suspicion. Any good ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist should be able to confirm your infection type with little trouble.
Often, medical professionals will do this with an ear test. They use a tool known as an otoscope to check the ear for infection and determine if the infection is viral or bacterial. They’ll be able to check your nose as well if it seems as if an ear infection isn’t present.
What kind of treatment is often given for ear and sinus infections? It varies case by case.
In some cases, a doctor might simply suggest that you wait for the infection to clear out. Many ear and sinus infections go away on their own within a few days. The doctor might prescribe a few painkillers to help make these few days of waiting less painful.
In some instances, a doctor may need to prick the source of infection and let it seep out. They can do this in their office in your initial session. This will allow the infection to heal more quickly.
In some cases, a doctor might prescribe an antibiotic to help the infection heal. This would happen in the case of a bacterial infection. Taking antibiotics can help to ensure an infection doesn’t return after it is healed.
In some situations, for sinus infections, a doctor might recommend sinus irrigation techniques. They might prescribe mucus thinning medication that is sold over the counter. However, these practices are rare.
Understanding Sinus and Ear Infections
Having pain in your ears can be frustrating and distracting. However, it can also be difficult to determine if what you’re experiencing is related to your ears or to your sinuses.
The above information will help you to understand sinus and ear infection elements and better diagnose the issues you’re suffering from. You’ll also have a better understanding of how a doctor might be able to help.