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Can Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain?

Can Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain

Are you wondering whether a sinus infection can cause ear pain or not? Or your doctor has held it responsible for earache in your child, and you want to know more about it. Then you are in the right place. 

Yes, it’s true. Sinus infections can cause ear pain. Here, we will know everything related to it. We will cover everything, from understanding how this happens to its symptoms and eventually its treatment. You will also learn about the sinus connection with the ear in this article. 

Going through this blog post will help you get rid of your ear pain. You will also learn about the other causes of this pain in this article. Continue reading as we uncover more about it. 

How Does Sinus Infection Cause Ear Pain?

Sinusitis can lead to ear discomfort through the complex interrelationship between the sinuses and ears. When mucus and fluid buildup in air-filled sinuses in the face, accumulating in them, this sets off potential discomfort in the ears.

The Eustachian Tube is an essential passage connecting the ears to the sinuses that plays a vital role in maintaining overall ear health. This tube serves several functions, including providing air between them and the sinuses, balancing pressure within the ears, draining excess fluid out, protecting from internal sounds, and draining any excess fluid away from the ears. 

When infected by bacteria or viral attacks, its essential functions may become impaired, leading to increased pressure and pain within the ears. If this happens due to a sinusitis infection it can become blocked. It will disrupt these essential functions and lead to increased pressure and pain.

Other Causes of Ear Pain

It is not necessary that your ear pain be due to a sinus infection. It may also be caused by several other reasons as well. Following are the 10 other common reasons for this pain:

  • Ear Infections
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Dental Issues
  • Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
  • Foreign Objects
  • Allergies
  • Trauma or injury
  • Wax Buildup
  • Referred pain from throat infections
  • Nerve pain (neuralgia) 


The symptoms section is divided into three sections. It includes the ear infection symptoms, the sinus infection symptoms, and the common ones as well. Let’s check them out.

Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Following are the signs and symptoms of an ear infection:

  • Earache
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear Drainage
  • Redness 
  • Swelling 
  • Throat pain
  • Itchiness in the ear

Symptoms of Sinus Infection

These are the general symptoms of a sinus infection:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Thick, discolored nasal discharge

Common Symptoms 

Here is a list of common conditions that are especially relevant for ear pain caused by a sinus infection. Let’s have a look at these symptoms: 

  • Fever
  • Facial pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pain or pressure in the neck
  • Pain in the upper jaws and teeth
  • Pain or pressure in the ear


There are multiple treatment options for ear pain due to a sinus infection. Your doctor will prescribe the best one for you after your diagnosis. We have divided it into two sections, which include medicated and non-medicated methods. 

Non-Medicated Treatments

You can also give them home remedies or natural treatments. These are safe methods and don’t have any side effects. You can easily practice them without any special training. 

  • Warm Compress: Apply a warm compress to the affected ear for 15-20 minutes to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Steam Inhalation: Inhale steam by leaning over a bowl of hot water and covering your head with a towel. Be cautious to avoid burns, and you can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for added relief.
  • Nasal Irrigation: Use a saline solution or a nasal spray to irrigate your nasal passages. This may help clear congestion and reduce pressure in the sinuses, potentially relieving ear pain.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, which can help thin mucus and promote drainage.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Always follow the recommended dosage guidelines.
  • Avoid Irritants: Stay away from smoke, strong odors, and other irritants that can exacerbate sinus symptoms.
  • Garlic Oil: Warm a few drops of garlic oil and gently apply it to the affected ear. Garlic has natural antimicrobial properties that may provide relief.
  • Ginger Compress: Create a ginger compress by soaking a cloth in warm ginger tea and placing it on the affected ear for 15-20 minutes.

Medicated Treatments

There are also some medicated treatment options for this purpose. Your doctor will suggest the most suitable option for you, depending on your symptoms. 

  • Antibiotics: If the ear pain is caused by a bacterial sinus infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the infection. 
  • Decongestants: Nasal decongestants are also a common prescription for this purpose. They are available in both oral and nasal spray forms. They can help reduce congestion and promote drainage by relieving pressure in the sinuses and ears. 
  • Nasal Steroids: These medications help reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, which can alleviate sinus congestion and indirectly relieve ear pain. 
  • Pain relievers: Your doctor may also prescribe you pain relievers to relieve ear pain and reduce inflammation. These may include acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). 
  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines are also sometimes prescribed if allergies contribute to sinus congestion and ear pain. 
  • Saline Nasal Irrigation: This involves using a saline solution to flush out the nasal passages, promote drainage, and help relieve congestion.
  • Steam inhalation: Inhaling steam is also recommended for ear pain sometimes. You can do this by taking a hot shower or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water. 

Final Words

Yes, an ear infection can be caused by a sinus infection, but it’s not necessary that it be due to it. There could be several other causes of this pain as well. If you notice common symptoms like facial pain, pressure or pain in the ear or neck, fever, etc., then it may be due to it. 

If the symptoms sound familiar, then you should visit a doctor. Get a diagnosis and follow his recommended treatment to get rid of it without any severe complications. 

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