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Sinusitis and its Effect on Physical Activity

People typically use exercise as a way to stay healthy and feel their best. But that can be difficult when you are sick. If you are suffering from a sinus infection, you may wonder how you’re going to make it through your workout routine, or if you should let your body rest instead. After all, sinusitis can take its toll on our ability to participate in physical activity.

What is Sinusitis?

The sinuses are hollow air spaces in the bones between the eyes, in the forehead, and behind cheekbone that produce mucus to keep the inside of the nose moist. The mucus acts as a protective barrier agent against allergens, pollutants, and dust in the air we breathe. If the sinuses get infected or blocked a person might experience uncomfortable symptoms. When you have sinusitis, your symptoms can include nasal congestion, facial pain and pressure, loss of smell and taste, discolored nasal drainage, postnasal drip, cough, and frequent headaches. These conditions are frustrating and can interrupt daily activities while making it difficult for an individual to live a normal life. During a sinus infection, the sinus cavities are infected and most likely blocked or filled with fluid. This allows viruses and bacteria to breed uncontrollably, which accelerates the start of an infection. Allergies, cold viruses, and nasal polyps can all trigger sinus infections.

How Does it Affect Physical Activity?

When you have a sinus infection, it causes nasal congestion. This can be problematic when you are attempting any physical activity beyond normal walking. Exerting your energy toward exercise while feeling congested can result in lightheadedness, which can affect your balance and coordination. If you feel any pressure in your chest, it’s best to avoid sports because this can affect your breathing, putting more pressure on your heart, causing it to work harder. If you do choose to participate in any physical activity while you’re suffering from sinusitis, make sure to hydrate properly. Sinus infections can be very dehydrating, which is why it is so important to pay attention to your hydration. Drink plenty of clear liquids in order to keep your nasal discharge thin and clear for proper drainage. While it may be difficult to perform strenuous exercise while you’re suffering from chronic sinus infections, light physical activity can be good for you. It can boost the body’s immune system to boost white blood cell production to help fight your illness. It can release endorphins, which can make you feel better. Just remember to keep all physical activity light, such as biking or walking, to avoid dehydration, overexertion, and becoming dizzy.

How to Treat Sinusitis?

If your symptoms last longer than a week, it may be time to consult with a Rhinologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment may include antibiotics and steroids if you haven’t already taken them. The surgeon can perform a CT scan of your sinuses and nasal endoscopy may be necessary to better assess the problem. If antibiotic treatment is unsuccessful for chronic sinusitis, a procedure may be the next step to open the infected sinus or sinuses and clear the infection. There are multiple options to treat sinusitis, including balloon sinuplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery. Dr. Kuperan can help you decide which technique is right for you. His specialized expertise and experience as a Rhinologist will make sure you get the best treatment so you can get back to your normal daily life. For more information regarding sinus treatments, or to schedule a consultation, call our office at (832) 720-NOSE or visit us at houstonadvancedsinus.com/contact.

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