Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are my ear problems connected to my sinus problems?"
Had an ear infection that is cleared up now, but seems like my nose is congested afterward. Did the infection spread? Does my ear infection have anything to do with my sinus congestion?
The middle ear chamber is connected to the nasal passage by a channel called the eustachian tube. This tube is larger and straighter in young children who are actually more prone to getting middle ear infections. In adults this eustachian tube is more narrow and windy. When an individual gets a middle ear infection, pus drainage can be cleared through the eustachian tube down the nasopharynx where it can drain through the mouth or nose. It is not surprising to see drainage lasting days to weeks after an infection. But the drainage quality should be less purulent and becomes more serious or clear over time. How to promote drainage of your sinuses during a cold infection is by staying in a slightly humidified environment. You do not want to be in a dry air environment as it will promote an inflammation of your sinuses. Obviously, a congested sinus at night when you are trying to get a good sleep is possible so using anti-congestive medication is the right thing to do. Sometimes the sinus stays inflamed for a long time after an infection that you could experience a running nose lasting extra long. Please discuss with your primary care provider for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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