Sinusitis Blurred Vision

Vision Without Glasses
Sphenoid Sinusitis

The Sinusitis Vision Connection

Author: Walter Johnson

Many people wonder why their vision is impeded when they suffer from sinusitis.  Blurred vision, water eyes, dull eye pain are frequent complaints presenting to my office in conjunction with a sinusitis. The sinusitis connection has to do with the spatial relationship between the sinuses and the eye structures. Multiple symptoms can occur depending on which sinus is infected. Most of the severe vision issues also revolve around bacterial sinusitis, which accounts for about 15% of all sinus infections.

The frontal and the ethmoid sinuses are the most common sinuses that produce vision symptoms. Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of the bone. Young males tend to be the most susceptible to this type of sinusitis vision connection. This osteomyelitis occurs most in the frontal sinuses above the eyes and the inflammation can spread to the inner eye socket leading to an orbital infection or inflammation of the surrounding structures. This rarely happens. The most common symptoms of osteomyelitis in the frontal sinuses include severe pain over the eyes causing squinting, excessive watering and photophobia.

If a bacterial infection occurs in the ethmoid sinuses, orbital infection can also occur. This process is more common that the frontal osteomyelitis route. This is a serious complication but occurs rarely. In these cases loss of eye movement, drooping eye lid and vision losses are common.  A deep aching pain in the midline of the face can point to an ethmoid sinus infection.

The most dangerous side effect of this orbital infection occurs when the infection moves into the cavernous venous sinuses which are contained next to the pituitary gland; a brain infection. Abscesses, meningitis and other life threatening conditions may result. Very often personality changes, high fever, neck pain, sever visual problems, altered consciousness, seizures, coma and even death can occur.

Both frontal and ethmoid sinus infections can also cause blood clots. These clots can travel to the venous structures surrounding the eye causing stagnation and therefore putting pressure on these structures. A fixed pupil that is dilated is often the first sign of this.

All the above symptoms are rare and constitute the most severe sinusitis vision connections. More often mild symptoms such as water eyes, photophobia, dull achy pain of the eyes predominate. Again this has to do with the spatial connection between the nasal sinus passages and the eyes.

Impeded mucus drainage is the main culprit causing these sinusitis vision symptoms. The eyes have a natural connection to the nose through the nasolacrimal duct. It allows the eyes to secrete a watery liquid that coats the eyes and keeps it moist. This connection is why when you cry your nose runs, the tears can drain through the nasolacrimal duct.

In sinusitis the exit of the nasolacrimal duct is right next to two sinus entries. If the sinuses are inflamed and producing excessive mucus this duct can also become blocked impeding the normal flow of your tears. Thus your eyes become excessively moist and water. This leads to most sinusitis vision problems

The best thing to do is to quickly remove the excessive mucus production through irrigation techniques. Nettie pots are a great way to do this. Make sure to add in a little bit of salt to keep your nasal passages moist or you'll notice a few minutes after using it, your mucus congestion will be worse.

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About the Author

Dr Walter Johnson is a sinusitis expert. For more information on the sinusitis vision connectoin visit

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8 Responses to Sinusitis Blurred Vision

  1. Anonymous says:

    can sinusitis cause vertigo and blurred vision in one eye?
    my left ear has a feeling of fullness and i cant hear out of it very well, ive had vertigo for 2 weeks with pressure between my eyes and now im having slight blurred vision in my left eye. does this sound like an ear infection and sinus infection?

  2. LeapingLepersShaggy says:

    Sinusitis – EXTREME Symptoms 39 year old Male Diabetic. Not trusting diagnosis?
    My husband is a non-insulin dependant diabetic. Friday night his sugar jumped to 396, normal readings for him are 100 – 150 depending on time of day and what he’s eaten. He refused to go the ER and it’s not exactly like I could haul him there on my back. I stayed up all night checking his sugar levels every hour or so. His symptoms are….

    1. Dizzyness
    2. Blurred Vision
    3. Sugar levels staying in 250s
    4. Slurred Speech
    5. Incoherent when speaking kept calling me seven and starry instead of Sarah
    6. Involuntary Muscle twitches
    7. Sinus Infection
    8. High Blood Pressure but controlled with Lisinopril and Verapamil
    9. Diabetic controlled with Metformin and Glyburide

    I convinced him to go the ER this morning when his sugar levels never fell out of the 2 and 300s throughout the night. When he got there they said he had a sinus infection and prescribed Kflex. They upped his diabetes medication and his blood pressure meds. At this time his sugar was at 300 and his blood pressure was 140/90, high, but the doctor said not so high that it would be causing the symptoms he was having. Told him all the symptoms were being caused by the sinusitis, gave him a small shot of insulin and sent him home. I know from past experience that any infection can lead to high glucose levels, so that symptom, although worrisome because of the high reading, doesn’t concern me like the other symptoms do.

    A few hours later is when his vison became blurred and he became incoherent. Sugar was still high, this time in the 250′s. Went back to the ER. Did blood work, checked urine for ketones. Still insisted symptoms were being caused by sinusitis. Once again said blood pressure not high enough to be causing dizzyness, slurred speech, etc.but went ahead and did CT Scan anyway. Said brain looked just fine and sent him home again about 3 hours ago.

    Now, sugar is in low 200′s, but still having all other symptoms and now has involuntary muscle twitches. In all my 34 years I have never heard of anyone having slurred speech and being incoherent due to sinusitis. These symptoms seems extreme to me. I ‘m just not sure if I should trust this diagnosis or what. Any advice?

    • Bunnee says:

      The slurred speech and twitching can come from high blood sugar. People w/diabetes whose sugar rises or falls (low blood sugar) can experience these symptoms. Of course, sinus infections can cause dizziness and blurred vision due to pressure around eye socket from inflammed sinus cavities. Give the antibiotic a chance to work thru his system about 48 hrs. As long as the CAT scan showed no signs of a brain bleed/stroke, once his sugar is under control, he should not get those scary symptoms. It’s true that a blood pressure of 140/90 is not high enough to really cause a stroke in an of itself. If you have a reg physician who sees him for his diabetes, I would make an appt for asap to have a follow up. Let him/her know about ER visits and what was done w/increase in meds which should also help his sugar levels once they get into his system which may take a while. Good luck to both of you.

  3. NotJustADizzyBlonde says:

    Weird symptoms, could it be sinusitis?
    I have recently discovered that I have severe dust mite allergy. I know this allergy is very common, however could this be responsible for unusual symptoms such as blurred vision and dizziness. Also has anyone heard of sinusitis causing teeth to move and become crooked?

  4. maria o says:

    I’m not sure if all of the symptoms I have are from just sinusitis. Help please?
    I apologise in advance for the long question, but I want to be accurate.

    I have been experiencing dizziness, blurred vision, and a severe constant pressure headache since last Tuesday.
    I saw my doctor on Thursday who told me that he believed that I have Sinusitis (for the second time this year), although many of the symptoms I had last time are not present this time. I have not recently had a cold. I do not have a blocked nose. I have no mucus coming from my nose and I have not suffered from a loss of appetite.

    He prescribed me Doxycyline 100mg (which is what was prescribed for me last time) and told me to take 2 capsules on the first day and then 1 capsule everyday until the end of the course.

    Since then I have developed swollen eyes, with very red, sore, puffy and peeling/dry skin underneath them. I have also become very lethargic and weak feeling. My original symptoms are still present. I have also found that when I eat (especially sweet foods) my headaches and lightheadedness seem to ease or virtually disappear for an hour or so, before returning.
    I am unable to get an appointment with my doctor until the end of the week so I thought I’d try and ask on here.

    Is this linked to the medication or to the Sinusitis?

    • Margaret A says:

      have you checked on the leaflet enclosed in the box. they always give a list of likely reactions you may get from the tablets.
      to be honest if i had symptoms that have developed since you started taking the tablets i would phone the doctors surgery and ask them to get the doctor to phone you. they always will and over the phone he should be able to advise or prescribe an alternative tablet.

  5. edgar silva says:

    should i be worried about my sinus infection? is it all my sinusitis?
    i’m 20 years old and i have a chronic sinusitis, it all started when i came to florida…i began showing symptoms of dizziness, blocked ears and just general crappy feeling…lol
    after i went to canada and it sorta went away for a bit which was awesome…didn’t really notice it…after i came to florida for xmas i develped dizziness, blurred vision, headache, preassure in my sinus and just a CRAPPY feeling once more, oh and rosy cheeks :S…just basically feeling out of it. I’m just freaking worried and i just wanna know should i be freaking worried? hahaha please somebody tell me!!!

    i have gone to the doctor, he prescribe a nasal spray which i take every morning and a sinus rinser (with saline solution)

    oh! and the doctor did an MRI and lung xray and i was in top shape!! :p….additional info…i did smoke A LOT before

    thanks guys i appreciate it!!!! :)

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