Posts for: June, 2022
How can you distinguish between a regular and a sinus-induced headache?
Sinus problems can be a real nuisance. While a stuffy nose, congestion and facial pressure may be part of the package, you may not realize that sinus problems could also be responsible for your headaches. If you are dealing with persistent or regular headaches, and you are also dealing with sinus issues, your headaches could be due to your sinuses. If this is the case, an ENT doctor can help you treat this common problem.
What causes a sinus headache?
When the nasal passages become congested, a sinus headache can start brewing. You may notice that you develop more sinus headaches during times of the year when your allergies flare up, or you may find that your headaches accompany a sinus infection. Along with allergies, other problems that could trigger a sinus headache include,
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated septum
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infection (rare)
What are the signs of a sinus headache?
Along with inflamed sinuses, symptoms of a sinus headache are different from that of a tension headache. Signs of a sinus headache include,
- Nasal congestion
- Stuffy nose or runny nose
- Lack of smell
- Facial pressure often in the forehead
- Facial pain that gets worse when leaning over
- Yellow nasal discharge
How a sinus headache is treated will differ from migraines, so it’s essential to spot the differences. If you develop a severe headache accompanied by dizziness, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting or auras, these are telltale signs that you’re dealing with a migraine and not a sinus headache.
How is a sinus headache treated?
While most sinus infections will resolve without treatment, an ENT doctor will be able to provide you with lifestyle changes, medication options and other remedies that could ease your headache and other symptoms until the infection resolves itself. Some ways to treat sinus headaches include,
- Home remedies such as Neti Pot, saline irrigation, steam and a warm compress
- Over-the-counter medications such as decongestants and pain medications
- Prescription medications include antihistamines, decongestants and nasal steroids
- Alternative treatment options such as essential oils, homeopathy, acupuncture and herbs
If headaches have become the norm, you may be surprised to discover that your sinuses are to blame. Of course, to get your headaches under control, you should also get your sinus problems under control. For that, you’ll want to turn to an otolaryngologist.
Recognize the early warning signs of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is incredibly common—the NIH reports that one in eight people in the US over the age of 12 years old has some degree of hearing loss. While hearing loss is more common among older adults, this doesn’t mean hearing loss can’t occur in young children, teens, or adults. The key is detecting hearing loss early on so an otolaryngologist can treat the problem and also take measures to prevent hearing loss from getting worse.
Everyone Seems Like They’re Mumbling
You used to be able to understand what people were saying to you but these days it seems like everyone around you is mumbling. While some people are simply soft-spoken if you find yourself having trouble understanding what most people around you are saying this could be a sign that they aren’t mumbling, but rather, that you’re dealing with some degree of hearing loss.
You Say “Huh” A Lot
Along with noticing that people around you are suddenly mumbling a lot more, you may also find yourself saying “What?” or “Huh?” to people a lot. If having people repeat themselves has become commonplace this is another telltale sign of hearing loss.
You Don’t Follow Conversations
When you don’t fully understand what people are saying around you it’s often easier just to tune it all out. The problem is that many people with hearing loss, particularly seniors, feel the social withdrawal that comes with not being part of the conversation. If you also find that noisy settings such as a crowded restaurants make it even more difficult to understand people and conversations, you may want to see your audiologist for a hearing evaluation.
Phone Conversations are More Difficult
Nothing is better than getting to catch up with family and friends on the phone unless you’re dealing with hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss can make it difficult to understand what someone else is saying on the phone. If you find yourself working hard to hear what someone is saying on the phone (or if you have to turn the volume all the way up) you may want to schedule a hearing test with an ENT.
If you are noticing changes in your hearing, it’s important that you turn to an otolaryngologist right away to learn about the cause and degree of your hearing loss, and whether you could benefit from a hearing aid.