Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is characterized by sinus inflammation that causes the cavities around your nasal passages to become blocked and filled with fluid. This causes a range of symptoms, including nasal congestion, facial pain or pressure, headaches, and difficulty breathing.
In addition to these symptoms, sinusitis can lead to or exacerbate sleep apnea, a disorder that causes breathing interruptions during sleep. Have you ever considered that managing your sinus symptoms could help improve sleep apnea? Here’s what you need to know.
How Managing Sinus Symptoms Can Help Improve Sleep Apnea
One of the primary ways sinusitis contributes to sleep apnea is by causing sinus congestion. When your nasal passages are blocked, breathing through your nose becomes more difficult. This can lead to mouth breathing during sleep, which increases the risk of snoring, a common symptom of sleep apnea. Mouth breathing can also cause dry mouth and throat irritation, resulting in less restful sleep.
Managing sinus symptoms helps alleviate nasal congestion, which in turn reduces the risk of mouth breathing and snoring. You can try several strategies to manage sinus symptoms, including:
- Nasal irrigation: This involves flushing your sinuses with a saline solution to reduce inflammation and clear mucus from your nasal passages.
- Decongestant medication: Taking cold and flu medicine can help reduce swelling in the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe through your nose.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays: These anti-inflammatory drugs are sprayed directly into your nose to reduce sinus infection systems. Corticosteroids are particularly effective for people with chronic sinusitis.
- Sinus surgery: If you suffer from chronic sinus issues and find little relief from more conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend otolaryngology, or surgery of the ear, nose, and throat.
Other Strategies to Improve Sleep Apnea
In addition to managing sinus symptoms, consider these other methods for treating sleep apnea:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy: One of the most effective strategies is to wear a CPAP mask that delivers pressurized air to keep your airway open during sleep. CPAP therapy can significantly improve sleep apnea symptoms, including snoring and daytime fatigue.
- Weight loss: Obesity contributes to fat deposits that can obstruct your airway. If you’re overweight, diet and exercise may eliminate the need for CPAP therapy or sinus surgery.
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking: By limiting your alcohol intake and quitting smoking, you can improve your health, reduce airway inflammation, and encourage more restful sleep.
- Positional therapy: While the change is small, training yourself to sleep on your side instead of your back may improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Seek Treatment for Sleep Apnea and Sinus Symptoms in Scottsdale
If you have sinusitis or sleep apnea symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs. We invite you to visit Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center in Scottsdale, where Dr. Franklyn Gergits and his skilled medical team are ready to provide fast, effective treatment for sinus infections, sleep apnea, and other ENT-related conditions. Call us at 602-492-2312 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.