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    The Sinus-Ear Connection

    Clogged  sinuses can mean more than a stuffy nose. You can also have pain,  dizziness, and that muffled-ear sensation, like you’re in a descending plane.

    You can take steps to relieve your ears once you know what the problem is, though.

    Stuffiness, Ear Discomfort, and Sinus Pain

    Your sinuses and ears are connected inside your head. So sinus congestion and stuffiness can affect the pressure in your ears. Treating the congestion may help.

    Get moisture. Use a nasal saline spray several times a day, or hold a warm, moist washcloth to your face. This can ease the pressure and pain.

    Humidifiers will also help keep your sinuses from drying out. Or you can sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running for 15 minutes to curb pain.

    Check the medicine cabinet. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as  acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen, to ease an earache.

    Try a  decongestantOver-the-counter tablets or nasal sprays can ease sinus blockage. That can relieve clogged ears. But don't use nasal decongestant sprays for more than 3 days, or they'll make you more congested.

    Avoid temperature extremes. They can make sinus-related ear problems worse. If your ears bother you, it isn’t the time to go  jogging on a hot day or build a snow fort with the kids.

    Keep your head up. If you bend forward with your head down, it can make the pressure worse. You’ll want to skip  yoga class until the sinus problem is over.

    Blow your nose gently. Block one nostril while you blow through the other.


    A build-up of pressure in the inner ear, including pressure caused by sinus problems, can sometimes make you feel dizzy.

    No fast movements. Don’t stand up too quickly or shake your head fast.

    Drink plenty of fluids. Down lots of water in the evening. When you stay hydrated, it keeps nasal mucus thin. That helps it drain and means less nighttime stuffiness.

    Avoid  caffeine, salt, alcohol, and  tobacco products. These can affect your circulation, and minor changes in  blood flow can affect your ears.


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