Why Sinusitis Affects Your Vision
Author: Adam Bradley
Sinusitis and vision problems can be very much related to one another. Many people often find their vision is impeded every time their sinus flares up. Watery eyes, blurred vision, and frequent dull eye pain are all associated with sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis accounts for more than 15% of all sinus infections and sinusitis vision problems. Depending on the sinus that is infected, multiple symptoms may occur. The main reason why people experience blurred vision is that all the four sinus regions are located close to the eye. The maxillary sinus is located in the cheek, the ethmoid sinus between the eyes and nose, the sphenoid sinus behind the ethmoid sinus, and the frontal sinus is located in the forehead above the eyes.
A sinus infection may occur in any or all of the sinus regions. Vision is most likely to be impaired when the infection is in the ethmoid or sphenoid sinus regions. Blurred, and in some cases, double vision are common in these cases. However, the symptoms do not last for very long. In rare cases of ethmoid sinusitis, the pressure exerted on the optic nerve causes a patient to lose eye movement. In other cases, an abscess forms around the eyes due to prolong sinus infection, leading to permanent eye damage without timely medical intervention.
In young males with sinusitis, vision is affected due to the inflammation of the frontal and ethmoid sinuses, in a condition known as osteomyelitis. The inflammation may spread to the inner eye socket and occurs mainly in the frontal sinus region above the eyes. However, this is a rare phenomenon. Common symptoms of osteomyelitis include watering of the eyes, squinting, and severe pain. In a bacterial infection that causes ethmoid sinusitis vision can also be impaired and is accompanied by severe pain in the midline of the face. In chronic cases an orbital infection may occur, which spreads to the cavernous venous sinuses next to the pituitary glands causing an abscess or meningitis. Blood clots may also occur in those suffering from ethmoid and frontal sinus infections. The most common symptom is dilation of the pupils. The blood clot travels to the venous structures around the eye thereby causing impaired vision. However, these symptoms are rare and occur only in chronic cases.
With infections caused by sinusitis, vision is affected mainly due to the drainage of mucus being blocked. The nasolacrimal duct that is right next to the entries sinus areas get blocked due to the inflamed sinus leading to excessive water and moisture in the eyes and subsequent sinusitis vision problems.
The nasal saline irrigation technique with the use of a Neti pot is among the best ways to treat sinusitis vision problems. This therapy involves the use of a salt and water solution to flush out the nasal cavity. The Neti pot is a ceramic pot that has been in use in ayurvedic and yoga as a form of natural medication. Several ear, nose, and throat surgeons recommend nasal irrigation to clear the nasal passage. This helps to thin the mucus and flush it out of the nasal passages. The cilia, which are tiny hair-like structures that line the nasal and sinus cavities wave back and forth, pushing the mucus back into the throat or to the nose so that it can be blown out.
It is advisable to seek the help of a medical professional in case of any sinusitis vision problems.