Can Sinus Infections Lead To Dizziness? Let's Explore The Link.

As a medical professional, I have seen many patients who complain of dizziness and vertigo caused by sinus infections. A sinus infection can lead to a range of symptoms, including facial pain, nasal congestion, and headaches. However, the connection between sinus infections and dizziness is not always clear. In this article, I will explore sinus related dizziness; the link between sinus infections and dizziness, and provide tips for preventing and treating both conditions.

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr Leslie Koh
M.B;B.S. (Singapore), MRCS (ENT) Edinburgh, M. Med (ORL), FAMS

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    Introduction To Sinus Infections And Dizziness

    A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occur when the sinuses become inflamed and swollen. There are four pairs of sinus cavities located in the face and head. They produce mucus that helps to keep the nasal passages moist and free of bacteria. When the sinuses become blocked, due to allergies, a cold, or a bacterial infection, mucus can build up and lead to sinusitis.


    Dizziness, on the other hand, is a feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or a spinning sensation. It can be caused by a range of factors, including inner ear problems, low blood pressure, dehydration, and medication side effects. Dizziness can be mild or severe, and it can impact a person’s quality of life by making it difficult to perform daily activities.

    Understanding Sinus Infections And Their Symptoms

    dizziness_cause_sinusitisA sinus infection can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

    • Facial pain or sinus pressure
    • Sinus congestion
    • Runny nose / stuffy nose
    • Postnasal drip
    • Headache
    • Cough
    • Blocked ears due to middle ear infections
    • Fatigue
    • Fever

    These symptoms can last for several weeks, and they can be especially troublesome when they interfere with sleep or daily activities. These sinus issues can be acute (acute sinusitis), lasting for a few weeks, or chronic (chronic sinusitis), lasting for several months.

    What Causes Dizziness In Sinus Infections?

    Dizziness can occur in sinus infections, but the root cause is not always clear. One theory is that a sinus infection can cause inflammation in the ear, which can affect balance and result in dizziness. Another theory is that the pressure caused by a sinus infection can impact the vestibular system in the ear, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation.


    In some cases, dizziness may be a side effect of medication used to treat such infections. Antihistamines and decongestants can cause drowsiness and dizziness, especially in older adults.

    How Sinusitis Affects Balance In The Inner Ear

    The inner ear plays a crucial role in maintaining balance, and any disruption to its function can cause dizziness. Sinusitis can cause inflammation in the inner ear and disrupt the delicate balance between the vestibular system and the brain. This can cause a feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or a spinning sensation.


    In some cases, sinusitis can lead to inner ear infections, a complication called labyrinthitis. This condition can cause vertigo, severe dizziness as well as aural symptoms such as hearing loss and tinnitus.

    Sinus Pressure And Its Effects On Dizziness

    Sinusitis may cause a sensation of pressure in the sinuses, forehead, and eyes. This can also affect the inner ears and result in a sensation of dizziness. Furthermore, this pressure sensation may disrupt the balance of the vestibular (balance) system and cause a feeling of lightheadedness or unsteadiness. In some cases, the sinus pressure can also cause a feeling of fullness, blockage or discomfort in the ears. This may also impact balance, and result in dizziness.


    Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sinus Infections And Dizziness

    If you are experiencing symptoms of a sinus infection and dizziness, it is important to see a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis; who may prescribe antibiotics. A physical exam, including a visual inspection of the sinuses, may be needed to determine the cause of your symptoms.


    Treatment for sinusitis may include antibiotics, decongestants, and pain relievers. In some cases, nasal corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and allergy symptoms in the sinuses. Chronic sinus infections may require the use of long term corticosteroids. Dizziness caused by sinusitis may be treated with vestibular rehabilitation therapy, which is a form of physical therapy that focuses on improving balance and reducing vertigo.

    Home Remedies For Sinus Infections And Dizziness Relief

    In addition to medical treatment, there are several home remedies that can help relieve sinus infections symptoms and dizziness. These include:

    • Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
    • Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air
    • Applying warm compresses to the face to reduce pain and pressure
    • Using saline nasal sprays to flush out mucus and bacteria
    • Getting plenty of rest

    Tips For Preventing Sinus Infections And Dizziness

    Prevention is key when it comes to sinus infections and dizziness. Here are some tips to help prevent both conditions:

    • Wash your hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
    • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
    • Avoid allergens that can trigger allergy symptoms / sinus issues, such as pollen or dust
    • Manage stress, which can potentially weaken the immune system and increase susceptibility to infection

    When To Seek Medical Attention For Sinus Infections And Dizziness

    If you are experiencing severe sinus infection symptoms or dizziness, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Severe symptoms may include:


    In conclusion, sinusitis and dizziness can be related, and it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of both conditions. Treatment may include medication, physical therapy, and home remedies to relieve symptoms and prevent future infections. By taking steps to prevent sinus infections and managing symptoms when they occur, you can improve your quality of life and reduce the impact of these conditions on your daily activities.


    If you are experiencing symptoms of sinus infections and dizziness, please seek medical attention right away.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you are experiencing dizziness along with other symptoms of a sinus infection, such as sinus congestion, facial pain or pressure, or a fever, it is likely that the dizziness is being caused by the sinus infection. However, there are other conditions that can cause dizziness, so it is important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

    While a sinus infection can cause inflammation and swelling in the inner ears, which can result in temporary dizziness, they typically do not cause permanent damage to the inner ear. However, if left untreated, a sinus infection can lead to complications such as meningitis, brain abscesses, or infections of the bones around the sinuses, which can be more serious.

    There are several home remedies that may help relieve dizziness caused by sinusitis, including staying hydrated, using a saline nasal spray, applying a warm compress to the face, and getting plenty of rest. However, if your symptoms are severe or do not improve with home remedies, it is important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

    A sinus infection can cause vertigo, which is described as a spinning sensation of the individual or the surroundings. Vertigo is typically caused by an issue with the inner ear. Sinus infections may result in inflammation and swelling in this area, which can predispose one to vertigo.

    Most sinus infections do not cause dizziness. Sinus infections can cause a variety of symptoms, including nasal congestion, facial pain or pressure, a cough, and a fever. The presence or absence of a dizzy sensation will depend on the individual, the severity of the infection and whether the inner ears are affected.


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