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Why do sinus problems cause ear pain?

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Sinus problems cause ear pain because the ears and sinuses are connected inside the head and sinus congestion produces pressure on the ears, explains WebMD. Germs and bacteria that develop and grow within the sinus cavities climb toward the Eustachian tube, ultimately entering the middle ear. Patients who are treated for sinus congestion may notice that the treatment eases the pressure, pain and discomfort in the ears.

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Full Answer

Patients suffering from ear pain and pressure resulting from problems with the sinuses can relieve the pressure by using a nasal saline spray throughout the day and applying a moist, warm washcloth to the face, notes WebMD. Installing a humidifier in the bedroom or running a hot shower can also help keep the sinuses moist to relieve pain and pressure. A medical professional may also recommend taking pain relievers such as naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve an earache caused by a sinus infection.

People with ear pain caused by sinus problems should avoid extreme temperatures, recommends WebMD. An over-the-counter decongestant can also help unblock the sinuses and relieve ears that are clogged. Sinus pressure and ear pain can worsen when the head is lowered. Therefore, patients should keep their heads upright when recovering from sinus problems. People with sinus problems and earaches should also avoid blowing their noses roughly. It may help to block one nostril while blowing the nose.

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