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Can Sinus Infection Cause Dizziness?

Updated: Mar 26

Can sinus infection cause dizziness? - A Man showing signs of Dizziness caused by a sinus infection.

Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, are common and can lead to congestion, facial pain, and headaches. But can sinus infection cause dizziness? In this article, we explore how sinus infections and dizziness are linked, along with their symptoms, how doctors diagnose them, treatment choices, and other important details.

Understanding Sinus Infection

Sinus infections happen when the air-filled spaces behind your forehead, cheeks, and eyes get inflamed or infected. This can be due to allergies, viruses, or bacteria. When sinuses swell up and get blocked, mucus gets trapped, and bacteria can grow, causing an infection.

Can Sinus Infection Cause Dizziness?

Yes, sinus infections can make some people feel dizzy. When sinuses get infected or inflamed, they can press on nearby structures, like the inner ear. This pressure change can mess up the balance system, which helps you stay steady and know where you are.

Since sinuses are close to the inner ear, any swelling or blockage can affect the balance system there. So, people with sinus infections might feel dizzy, like they're going to faint, or like things are spinning around them.

How Does a Sinus Infection Cause Dizziness?

A sinus infection can make you feel dizzy in a few different ways. When your sinuses get infected or swollen, they can push on nearby parts of your head, like the inner ear and the Eustachian tube. This can throw off your balance and make you feel dizzy. Here's how it happens:

Pressure on the Inner Ear

The sinuses and the inner ear are very close to the head. If the sinuses get blocked or swollen, they can press on the delicate parts of the inner ear. This includes the vestibular system, which helps you keep your balance and know where you are in space. When this happens, you might feel dizzy or like things are spinning around you.

Changes in Ear Pressure

When you have a sinus infection, the pressure in your sinuses and nose can change. This change in pressure can also affect your middle ear through a tube called the Eustachian tube. This tube connects the middle ear to the back of your nose. If the Eustachian tube doesn't work right because of sinus congestion, it can mess up the balance of pressure in your middle ear. This can make you feel dizzy.

Impact on Vestibular System

Sinus infections can mess with your inner ear, which helps you keep your balance. When your sinuses are inflamed, they can mess up the tiny parts in your inner ear that help you sense movement. This can make you feel dizzy or like things are spinning around you.

Indirect Effects

Besides the direct effects, sinus infections can make you feel dizzy in other ways too. Things like stuffy nose, headaches, and feeling tired can all make you feel lightheaded or off-balance. This can add to the feeling of dizziness.

Symptoms of Dizziness Caused by Sinus Infection

The symptoms of dizziness caused by a sinus infection can vary from person to person, but they often include:

1. Feeling Lightheaded

People might feel like they're floating or unsteady on their feet. This feeling can change in strength and might get worse when they move suddenly or change position.

2. Sensation of Spinning or Vertigo

You might feel like things are spinning or moving around you. This feeling, called vertigo, can make you feel off balance or disoriented. It can be hard to stand or walk without help.

3. Difficulty Maintaining Balance

Sinus problems can mess with your balance, making it hard to stay steady on your feet. You might feel like the ground is moving or like you're tipping over without meaning to.

4. Nausea or Vomiting

Sometimes, feeling dizzy because of sinus issues can make you feel like throwing up or actually make you vomit, especially if the spinning feeling is really bad. This nausea can make the dizziness feel even worse and make you feel really uncomfortable.

5. Disorientation or Confusion

When sinus problems make you dizzy, it might be hard to figure out where you are or what's going on around you. This feeling of confusion can make it hard to focus, understand what's happening around you, or do simple things you normally do.

6. Fatigue and Weakness

When sinus problems last a long time and make you dizzy, you might feel really tired and weak. It can take a lot of effort to move around and deal with the dizziness. Feeling tired can make the dizziness even worse and affect how well you can do things during the day.

7. Headache and Facial Pressure

When you have dizziness from a sinus infection, you might also get a headache and feel pressure in your face. These symptoms can make your dizziness worse and add to your overall discomfort.

Diagnosing Sinus Infection-Induced Dizziness

Diagnosing dizziness caused by sinus infections needs a full check-up from a doctor. They'll do some tests to find out what's causing the dizziness and how to treat it. Here are the usual steps in diagnosing this kind of dizziness:

1. Medical History

First, the doctor will ask about your symptoms. They'll want to know how long you've been feeling dizzy and how bad it is. They'll also ask about any sinus symptoms you might have, like a stuffy nose or headache. They'll ask if you've been sick or had any allergies lately.

2. Physical Examination

Next, the doctor will check you over. They'll look for signs of sinus problems, like a sore face, swelling, and stuffy nose. They might also test your balance and how well you can move around to see if it's related to your inner ear.

3. Diagnostic Tests

Next, they might need to do some tests to learn more about your sinuses and inner ear. These tests could include:

  • Imaging Studies: Doctors might use scans like CT scans or MRIs to look at your sinuses. They can see if there's any inflammation, infection, or other problems.

  • Sinus Endoscopy: Sometimes, doctors might do a sinus endoscopy. They use a tiny camera to look inside your nose and sinuses. This helps them see what's going on and take samples if needed.

  • Vestibular Testing: Your doctor may recommend tests to check the function of your inner ear and find out why you're feeling dizzy. These tests might include procedures such as electronystagmography (ENG), videonystagmography (VNG), or vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP).

4. Allergy Testing

If your doctor thinks allergies might be causing your sinus issues, they might suggest allergy testing. This helps find out which allergens might be making your sinuses swell and get congested.

5. Laboratory Tests

If your doctor thinks you might have a bacterial infection, they might do some lab tests. These tests, like swabs or cultures taken from your nose, help figure out exactly which bacteria are causing the infection. This helps them choose the right antibiotics to treat it.

Treatment Options

To deal with dizziness caused by a sinus infection, the goal is to treat the sinusitis and ease the discomfort. Here are some things that might help:


  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics might be given if the sinus infection is caused by bacteria. They help to get rid of the infection and decrease swelling in the sinuses.

  • Decongestants: You can get decongestants from the store without a prescription, or your doctor might prescribe stronger ones. They can help clear up stuffy noses and let your sinuses drain better, which might make you feel less dizzy.

  • Nasal Steroids: These sprays contain corticosteroids that help calm down inflammation in your nose and sinuses. This can ease congestion and the feeling of pressure in your head.

  • Pain Relievers: You can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease facial pain and headaches caused by sinus infections.

  • Antihistamines: If allergies are part of the problem, your doctor might suggest antihistamines to lessen allergic reactions and congestion.

  • Nasal Irrigation: Nasal irrigation with saline can help clear out mucus and allergens from your nose, which can make you feel better and less congested.

  • Steam Inhalation: Breathing in steam from hot water or using a humidifier can moisten your nasal passages and loosen mucus. This makes breathing easier and eases sinus pressure.

Home Remedies

Apart from medicine, you can try these home remedies to ease sinus infection-induced dizziness:

  • Hydration: Drinking lots of fluids can thin mucus and clear your sinuses, easing congestion and pressure.

  • Warm Compresses: Using warm cloths on your face can soothe sinus pain and make you feel better when you have sinusitis.

  • Rest: Resting gives your body the energy it needs to fight off infections and heal itself.

  • Elevation: Sleeping with your head raised can ease sinus congestion and help drain them, easing dizziness and discomfort.

  • Healthy Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients can boost your immune system and might help you recover faster from sinus infections.

  • Herbal Remedies: Some herbs and supplements like echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc might boost the immune system and keep your sinuses healthy.

  • Steam Inhalation with Essential Oils: Adding a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to hot water for steam inhalation can clear nasal passages and ease sinus congestion.

Prevention Tips

To prevent sinus infection-related dizziness, follow these tips:

1. Maintain Good Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially when it's cold or flu season, to stop viruses and bacteria from spreading and causing sinus infections.

2. Avoid Allergens: Reduce contact with things like pollen, dust mites, pet fur, and mold, which can make your sinuses swell up and get blocked.

3. Stay Hydrated: Make sure to drink lots of fluids to keep your nose and throat moist. This helps prevent infections by helping your sinuses drain properly.

4. Use a Humidifier: Use a humidifier in your home when it's dry to add moisture to the air. This helps prevent dryness in your nose and lowers the chance of sinus infections.

5. Practice Nasal Irrigation: Clean your nose regularly with saltwater to wash away mucus and things that cause allergies. It helps keep your sinuses healthy and lowers the chance of getting sick.

When to See a Doctor

Knowing when to see a doctor is important. If dizziness from sinus infections is really bad, lasts a long time, or comes with other serious symptoms like a high fever, bad headache, or vision problems, it's time to visit a doctor. They can figure out what's causing the dizziness and suggest the right treatments to help you feel better.

Are sinus infection symptoms causing discomfort and dizziness? Experience relief from sinus infection-induced dizziness with Center One Medical. Our team of healthcare professionals is here to provide comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs. Contact us and schedule your appointment today to receive personalized care and effective treatment options. Don't let sinus infections hold you back. Take the first step towards better health with Center One Medical.


In conclusion, sinus infections can make you dizzy by messing up the balance in your inner ear. It's important to know their connection so you can get the right help. Taking steps to prevent sinus infections and getting help early when needed can make a big difference in how you feel.


1. Can Sinus Infections Cause Severe Dizziness?

  • Sinus infections can cause different levels of dizziness. It can be just feeling a bit dizzy or feeling like the room is spinning a lot. It depends on how much your sinuses are swollen and how it affects your balance system.

2. Is Dizziness a Common Symptom of Sinus Infections?

  • While stuffy nose and facial pain are usual signs of sinus infections, some people might feel dizzy too, particularly if the infection reaches the inner ear or balance system.

3. How Long Does Dizziness Last with a Sinus Infection?

  • Well, it can be different for everyone. It depends on what's causing it, how well the treatment works, and other things about you. Usually, when the sinus infection gets better, the dizziness goes away too.

4. Can Sinus Infections Lead to Vertigo?

  • Sometimes sinus infections can cause this feeling called vertigo. It messes with your balance and can make you dizzy. It happens if the infection messes with your inner ear or how your balance works.

5. When Should I Seek Medical Attention for Dizziness from a Sinus Infection?

  • If dizziness sticks around or gets worse, and you're dealing with other worrying symptoms like a high fever, really bad headaches, or vision problems, it's time to see a doctor right away. They can check if something serious is going on.

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