Sinus infections and sleep apnea are both common health issues that can impact your quality of life. While they may seem unrelated, the two conditions are actually closely linked. Learn more about each one, how they’re connected, and whether you should seek an evaluation.

What is a Sinus Infection?

Also known as sinusitis, a sinus infection occurs when the sinuses, or the air-filled spaces connected to your nasal passages, become inflamed or infected. Symptoms of sinusitis include nasal congestion, headache, facial pain or pressure, post-nasal drip, cough, and fatigue. Sinusitis can be caused by allergies, viral or bacterial infections, and abnormal facial structures.

Sinus Allergy Wellness Center in AZ has you covered for sinusitis

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is interrupted during sleep. A blocked or collapsed airway is the most common cause, which can stem from obesity, a deviated septum, alcohol consumption, low humidity, allergies, and sinusitis. Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and headaches upon waking. Sleep apnea can have serious health consequences, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

How are Sleep Apnea and Sinus Infections Connected?

Sleep apnea and sinus infections are linked in several ways. For example, sinusitis can contribute to sleep apnea by causing sinus congestion and inflammation that blocks the nasal passages. This makes it more difficult to breathe through your nose, which can increase the likelihood of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Conversely, sleep apnea can contribute to sinusitis. When a person with sleep apnea stops breathing during sleep, the sudden drop in oxygen levels can trigger inflammation in the sinuses and other parts of the respiratory system. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to breathe through your nose and increases the likelihood of developing a sinus infection.

In addition, some sleep apnea treatments may also alleviate sinusitis. For instance, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which uses a machine to deliver a steady stream of air to keep the airway open during sleep, can also help alleviate nasal congestion and improve breathing when you have a sinus infection.

Should I Seek an Evaluation for Sinusitis and Sleep Apnea?

If you are experiencing sinusitis or sleep apnea symptoms, seeking an evaluation is important to determine the severity of your condition and possible underlying causes. Your healthcare provider can perform a physical exam and recommend diagnostic testing to get to the bottom of it. In some cases, treatment isn’t necessary, and symptoms resolve on their own. However, if treatment is needed, your provider will work to address the underlying cause, relieve your symptoms, and prevent further complications.

Get Treatment for Sinus Infections and Sleep Apnea in Scottsdale

If you’re seeking an ear, nose, and throat specialist in the Scottsdale area, look to Dr. Franklyn Gergits and the entire ENT team at Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center. Our offices are equipped with cutting-edge technology, allowing us to provide fast, effective treatment for sinus infections, sleep apnea, and other ENT-related conditions. We pride ourselves on offering compassionate care to all our patients. To schedule an appointment, please call 602-492-2312 or contact us online today.