Understanding How Sinus Infections Lead To Hearing Loss

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When you have a sinus infection, it can be difficult to breathe because the sinus cavity is blocked. These cavities are found in the bones between your eyes and within close proximity to your nose. Depending on the severity of your sinus infection, it can affect your ability to hear correctly and require you to seek the assistance of a speech pathologist. The information below provides some details on sinus infections and how they can lead to hearing loss.

Types Of Sinusitis Related Hearing Loss

Sinus infections arise from two different types of sinusitis problems: acute and chronic. The symptoms of both infections cause nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing and headaches. Acute sinus infections may cause temporary hearing loss, until the nasal passages become clear after once your condition clears up. However, if you suffer from chronic sinusitis, it may be possible for you to develop permanent hearing loss. This can occur if the chronic sinusitis leads to constant ear infection complications.

Cause Of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss caused by sinusitis occur when the infection spreads from your nose and eyes to your ear, especially if it enters the middle ear canal. If this happens, the pressure on the eardrums caused by inflammation of your sinuses can affect your ability to hear correctly. The pressure on your eardrums is caused by fluid from the sinus infection leaking behind the eardrum. When this happens, the fluid that has built up behind your eardrum, your Eustachian tube, which runs from the throat to your middle ear, becomes blocked and swollen. This pressure can cause extreme pain in your eardrum and lead to possible hearing loss.  

Typically, your hearing will be restored once the fluid drains out as the sinusitis clears up. However, in some cases, the ear may not drain off all the fluids once the infection has ended. The accumulation of fluid may cause the eardrum to rupture, leading to permanent hearing loss. In addition, if an ear infection goes untreated after a sinus infection, it can cause extreme damage to the small bones located in your middle.

In order to protect your hearing, it is essential to have your sinus infection treated to prevent it from spreading. Typically, sinusitis can be diagnosed by your regular physician. In some instances, an x-ray and CT scan may be necessary to check the paranasal cavities to determine the severity of the infection. In addition, if fluid is found in the ear, the doctor like one from Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head may test the fluid to determine the type of infection or recommend that you see a speech pathologist.