Is There a Correlation Between Sinus Infection and Exhaustion?

Is There a Correlation Between Sinus Infection and Exhaustion?

by Kassandra Silva (SU)

Are you plagued by exhaustion? If you’re experiencing it along with runny nose, headache, drainage down the back of your throat (postnasal drip), puffy eyes, sore throat, and facial pain, it could be due to sinus infection.   

Let’s demystify the correlation between sinus infection and exhaustion and find out what our otolaryngologists (ears, nose, and throat specialists) here at Snoring Austin can do to effectively address your problem and help revitalize your energy.

Sinus Infection: How It Can Cause Fatigue

Your sinuses are the air-filled chambers inside your skull, situated around your nose, cheeks, and forehead. They are responsible for producing mucus, which is what lubricates your nasal passages and filters dust and other particles.

Sinus infection develops when pathogens (virus or bacteria) irritate and inflame your sinuses and cause mucus to build up in them. The mucus buildup makes for a good breeding ground for pathogens.

As with any other type of infection, your immune system springs into action when a pathogen invades your sinuses. Antibodies and white blood cells go to work to fight the infection and rid your body of the pathogen.

Immune system functions, in themselves, require energy. In an inactivated state, the whole immune system requires 1,600 kJ (kilojoule is a unit of energy, similar to calories). This increases by 25 percent when there’s an infection in the body. Fatigue is one of the signs that your immune system is fighting an infection and exerting a lot of energy to ward it off.

 What We Can Do

To confirm a diagnosis, one of our ENT specialists will do a thorough evaluation, which includes a review of your symptoms and medical history, a physical exam, allergy test, and medical imaging (CT or MRI scan). The scan allows our ENT specialist to detect deep inflammation or any growths (polyps or tumors) in your nasal passages that could be causing the blockage.

Based on the findings, we will devise a treatment plan that will depend on the type of sinus infection you have (whether acute or chronic) and the severity. Your treatment could be any of the following:

o   Medications

Viral sinus infections are typically self-limiting: they go away on their own in just about ten days. All you need are basic self-care measures, such as keeping yourself adequately hydrated, getting enough rest, and using saline nasal sprays to clear your passages.

Bacterial sinus infections require antibiotics (amoxicillin), which need to be taken for a period of seven to ten days.

If you have a nasal allergy, you could be especially prone to sinus infection, as it causes your sinuses to get irritated and blocked. To help prevent the onset of infection, our ENT specialist will likely give you steroid nasal sprays to alleviate the irritation and decongest your nasal passages. If you have severe inflammation, you may have to take oral steroids for three to ten days. We may also give you oral decongestants.

 If your sinusitis is triggered by nasal polyps, we will give you medications to try to shrink them.

o   Surgery

We may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery if you have nasal polyps that are resistant to drug treatment.

The goal of an endoscopic sinus surgery is to:

  • Reduce the recurrence and severity of the sinus infection
  • Address the symptoms
  • Improve nasal breathing

For this procedure, our ENT specialist will use a thin, flexible, lighted instrument (endoscope) to examine your sinuses and check the source of the blockage along with specialized instruments to safely remove the polyps or other growths.

Sinus Infection Treatment in Austin and Lakeway, TX

At Snoring Austin, our board-certified ENT specialists are dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized care for the full range of conditions affecting the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck. We will work closely with you to provide you with a highly effective, long-term solution, so you can breathe and live better!

Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with one of our ENT specialists: (512) 339-4040 (Austin office) or (512) 682-4798 (Lakeway office). You can also use this secure form to request an appointment.