Sinusitis vs Asthma

Sinuses are actually air-filled cavities situated in and around the nose. When these cavities inflame due to a bacterial or fungal infection, this is known as sinusitis. On the other hand, asthma is an inflammatory disease that affects the windpipe to the lungs. As both these conditions affect the areas that are linked- sinuses and airways, there are suggestions for links between sinusitis and asthma. Some doctors believe that chronic nasal inflammation and irritation or asthma are more about developing chronic sinusitis

Relation between sinus infections and asthma

There is a close association between asthma and sinusitis because of the commonalities they share in their symptoms. But the causes due to which these inflammations occur are totally different. Sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection or viral infection (cold), chronic nasal congestion or a deviated septum. While asthma occurs due to specific triggers such as tree, grass, dust mites, irritants in the air, etc. 

There are several studies that point towards the fact that there is a connection between sinus infections and asthma. According to a research paper “Asthma and sinusitis”*, sinusitis occurs not only in association with bronchial asthma but also plays a role in the manner the disease develops. The study also showed that when compared with people suffering only from asthma, people suffering from both sinusitis and asthma have the following symptoms-

  • Have more severe asthma symptoms such as coughing at night, shortness of breath, pressure on the chest, etc. 
  • The tendency to have asthma flares
  • Suffer from a disturbed sleep

Some studies also show that patients with asthma can get relief from the symptoms if they treat sinusitis. The results were more promising in children who got themselves treated at an early age. The chances of acquiring asthma by the children later in their lives reduced. 

Also Read: Correlation between a deviated septum and chronic sinusitis!

Symptoms of sinusitis triggered by an asthma

Depending on which sinuses are affected, there can be a pain in the following areas-

  1. Forehead
  2. Upper jaw and teeth
  3. Around the eyes
  4. Neck, ear, and top of the head

Treatment of sinusitis due to asthma

  • Avoid triggers for asthma

In order to treat sinusitis that might have occurred due to an asthmatic attack, the first and foremost step is to avoid any type of triggers. Here is a list of triggers that can be avoided-

  1. Dust mites, pollens, pets, mold or cockroaches
  2. Irritants such as cigarette smoke, strong odors and perfumes, fumes from wood stoves or kerosene heaters
  3. Changes in the weather
  • Use antibiotics

To treat bacterial infections in the sinus, doctors prescribe antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, the course can last from 3 to 28 days. As people are becoming more and more antibiotic-resistant, sinusitis patients should take antibiotics only if symptoms stay beyond 7-10 days. 

  • Nasal decongestant sprays

These sprays work by shrinking swollen nasal passages that facilitate drainage flow from the sinuses. But make sure that these decongestant sprays are not used for not more than three to four days. 

  • Antihistamines 

These drugs reduce inflammation caused due to an allergic reaction and get relief from some of the symptoms such as swollen nasal and sinus passages.

Word of Advice from Pristyn Care

Sinusitis is a condition that tends to make other conditions including asthma worse. Fortunately, with the latest sinusitis treatment, known as FESS surgery, has been proven as a boon for people suffering from chronic sinusitis as well as sleep apnea. Not only sinusitis but people suffering from both sinusitis as well as asthma have also been benefited. This daycare procedure is provided by E.N.T doctors of Pristyn Care. If you have any other query, visit us today to know more.

Also Read: How do I tell if I have a sinus or migraine?

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