Dry Eyes Nasal Congestion And Pain Or Discomfort
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Reviewed on 7/18/2022
Dry eyes can be related to environmental factors or conditions such as Sjogren‘s syndrome that characteristically produce dry eyes. Nasal congestion can be result of allergies, colds, or sinus infections, among other causes. If you are concerned about any of your symptoms or believe you have signs of an infection, discuss your symptoms with a health care provider to determine the cause.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
Clinical Trials Show Increased Tear Volume Minimal Side Effects
Oyster Point applied for FDA approval after its third-stage clinical trial found increased tear volume among participants who received the medication, compared with those in the placebo group. The findings were consistent during three clinical trial rounds at 22 sites in the United States.
Side effects were minimal or transient, and included only brief instances of sneezing, coughing, or throat or nose irritation. Tyrvaya becomes available by prescription next month at a cost expected to match that of other leading dry eye disease treatments. The bill for a typical prescription for Restasis, without manufacturers discount, can exceed $700.
As a provider and someone who has cared for these patients, the fact that this is a possible solution for dry eye is incredibly exciting, and its what we aim to do in medicine, says Dr. Macsai, that is, to not just make people feel better, but to actually improve the quality of their lives.
Symptoms Of Colds Vs Sinusitis
Many people mistake colds and sinusitis because their symptoms are very similar. With both a cold and sinusitis, you may experience symptoms like:
- Nasal congestion
Sinusitis, however, may cause additional symptoms and increased discomfort. As your sinus membranes swell, it can also cause pain in your head and behind your eyes. Infections relating to sinusitis can also change your sense of smell and taste, and often leave you with a persistent bad taste in your mouth.
As your sinusitis symptoms persist, you may also experience an increase in fatigue and difficulties concentrating on anything but your breathing difficulties and sinus pain.
If your sinusitis is triggered by allergies, you might experience persistent sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and irritation in your throat.
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Aromatherapy Humidity Nasal Sprays & Steam
The tried and true remedy of using a humidifier or a steamy shower can also help provide temporary relief from sinusitis symptoms such as sore throat. Essential oils such as peppermint or eucalyptus may also help to open up your sinuses and relieve some of the blockage thats indirectly causing your sore throat. Finally, flushing out your mucus with a neti pot or a saline nasal spray can also provide temporary relief.
When Does A Sinus Infection Require Urgent Care
While a minor sinus infection does not require a trip to urgent care or indicate a reason for significant concern, a more severe sinus infection in which the symptoms become intolerable or last for an extended amount of time may need medical assistance for the underlying cause of the sinus infection to be appropriately treated.
During a sinus infection, it is essential to keep an eye on the symptoms and come in for a visit to our urgent care facility in the event the symptoms become intolerable or no sign of improvement is noticed after more than a week. At our urgent care facility, we can efficiently and effectively diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your sinus infection.
While prevention is the best way to handle a sinus infection, it is not always possible to prevent, especially when caused by the common cold. Therefore, it is essential to know exactly what to do if a sinus infection develops.
If you or your child develop a sinus infection that becomes concerning for any reasons, do not hesitate to come in for a visit or give us a call to find out the next step to take. There is no appointment needed, and we promise you quick and effective care here at our urgent care facility.
Questions to Ask Your Urgent Care Provider
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Electronics Usage Leads To Increased Incidence Of Dry Eye
Dry eye disease has become a serious public health challenge in recent years because of the ever-increasing number of eye-straining hours people spend using electronic devices.
Online and smartphone activity was already soaring when the COVID-19 pandemic likely worsened the damage by forcing many daily activities to switch from the real world to the virtual one, according to a study published in Risk Management and Healthcare Policy in October 2021. In doing so, the pandemic placed a high number of young people at risk for an ailment previously linked to aging.
Tear Quality And Quantity Improved Company Says
The company says the drug successfully enhanced tear quality and quantity in study subjects, as measured by the commonly used Schirmer score. The test evaluates the amount and, in some cases, the quality of tears produced.
Says , Oyster Point Pharmas chief medical officer and the former chief of ophthalmology for the NorthShore University Health system in suburban Chicago, Tyrvaya increases both the quantity and the quality of tears, evidenced by the increase in the Schirmer score and the generation of all three layers of the tear film, as well as the 1,500 protein, mucin, and other molecules in the basal tear film.
Currently, the popular dry eye disease drugs Restasis and Xiidra are dropped directly onto the eye to treat the ailment. Restasis works by dampening the bodys immune response to irritation, while Xiidra serves as an anti-inflammatory for the eye.
Alternatively, Tyrvaya harnesses cholinergic activity to transport medication through the mucous membranes to the trigeminal nerve pathways and into the ophthalmic nerve, to stimulate the nicotinic receptors housed there. The trigeminal is the largest branch of the nervous system and controls processes in the head and neck.
Tyrvayas key component, the same pharmaceutical used in the smoking cessation drug Chantix, stimulates corresponding nicotinic brain receptors to enhance the production of tears and lubricate the ocular surface, according to Oyster Point.
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What Causes My Sinuses To Be Infected
Infection in the sinuses, or sinusitis, happens when harmful bacteria or viruses make their way into the sinuses. These cause your sinuses to become inflamed, which consequently blocks mucus from draining, causing an unnecessary build-up in your sinuses. With a sinus infection, youll feel stuffiness and pressure in the upper parts of your face, including behind your eyes. Most sinus infections are viral in nature, so theyll resolve themselves in a week or two without any treatment.
What Are Dry Eyes
The eye depends on the presence of a tear film to provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and comfort. Tears are a combination of:
- Water, for moisture
- Oils, for lubrication and to prevent evaporation of tear liquid
- Mucus, for even spreading of tears on the surface of the eye
- Antibodies and special proteins, for resistance to infection
These components are secreted by special glands located around the eye. When there is an imbalance or deficiency in this tear system, or when the tears evaporate too quickly, a person may experience dry eye.
When tears do not lubricate the eye enough, you may have the following in your eye:
- A gritty sensation, like a feeling of a foreign body or sand
- Redness and blurring of vision
Sometimes, a person with dry eyes will have excess tears running down the cheeks, which may seem confusing. This happens when the eye isn’t getting enough lubrication. The eye sends a distress signal through the nervous system for more lubrication. In response, the eye is flooded with emergency tears.
However, these tears are mostly water and do not have the lubricating qualities or the rich makeup of normal tears. They will wash dirt away from the eye, but they will not coat the eye surface properly. In addition, because these emergency tears tend to arrive too late, the eye needs to regenerate and restore itself, and treatment is necessary.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
- a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
- a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
- a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
- eye pain or swelling of one or both eyes
- a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
- shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
While it’s highly unlikely to be caused by a cavernous sinus thrombosis, these symptoms need further investigation.
In very rare cases, these symptoms may appear from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine.
You should also contact a GP if you develop any of the eye symptoms described above.
Page last reviewed: 05 August 2021 Next review due: 05 August 2024
Help For Sinus When I Have High Blood Pressure
Many people suffer from sinus trouble, whether it is a temporary sinus problem or chronic sinusitis. Sinus congestion can cause breathing difficulties, and the extreme congestion leads to sinus headache. Prolonged sinus congestion can lead to sinus infections. There are treatments for congested sinuses, but if you have high blood pressure you must be careful about which treatments you use, as some may actually raise blood pressure.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Can A Sinus Infection Affect Your Eye
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Can a Sinus Infection Affect Your Eye?
Absolutely! Sinusitis, otherwise called a sinus infection, occurs when pesky bacteria and viruses invade the sinus cavities located in the face. These spaces in the face can fill with mucous, and that mucous can become infected. Youll know when you have a sinus infection because the sinus cavities will be filled with fluids and youll feel pressure around them. Sinus Infections can affect your eyes in a few different ways.
One of the hallmark symptoms of a sinus infection is feeling pressure build up in your face. You may even feel pressure behind your eyes. Thats because, all the sinus areas Frontal, Ethmoid, Sphenoid, and Maxillary, sort of surround the eyes anatomically. The Ethmoid sinuses are located at the nose bridge and extend down the nose on each side of the nose, directly beside each eye. The Frontal sinus extends to the nose bridge above each eyebrow.
Our SmartDocMD online physicians currently offer diagnosis and sinus infection treatment online to anyone in the state of California. Our offices are based in the Bay Area but our service is available throughout the state. We are planning on expanding to other states, so check back for updates.
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What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome has many causes. One of the most common reasons for dryness is simply the normal aging process. As we grow older, our bodies produce less oil 60% less at age 65 than at age 18. This is more pronounced in women, who tend to have drier skin then men. Oil deficiency also affects the tear film. Without as much oil to seal the watery layer, the tear film evaporates much faster, leaving dry areas on the cornea.
Many other factors, such as hot, dry or windy climates, high altitudes, air-conditioning, and cigarette smoke also cause dry eyes. Many people also find their eyes become irritated when reading or working on a computer. Stopping periodically to rest and blink keeps the eyes more comfortable.
Contact lens wearers may also suffer from dryness because the contacts absorb the tear film, causing proteins to form on the surface of the lens. Certain medications, thyroid conditions, vitamin A deficiency, and diseases such as Parkinsons and Sjogrens can also cause dryness. Women frequently experience problems with dry eyes as they enter menopause because of hormonal changes.
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Types Of Sinus Surgery:
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery
In this form of surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nasal passageway. The doctors then use special surgical instruments to remove any kind of blockages such as nasal polyps. The procedure does not leave behind any trace of scarring. If the sinusitis reoccurs, the surgery can be repeated a few times.
This is more or less an obsolete procedure and may be done in some very specific cases. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a pathway between nose and the maxillary sinus to aid in the easy drainage of any mucus that builds up in the area. The surgery is performed by making a cut in the premolar region of the upper jaw to enter the sinus cavity. The procedure is only recommended if there is a growth inside the sinus cavity that needs to be removed.
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Does High Eye Pressure Always Require Treatment
Many people with high IOP do not need treatment. Regular monitoring ensures that your eyes are healthy and vision issues are addressed.
A 2021 study in JAMA Ophthalmology revealed that high eye pressure does not necessarily require treatment. Among study participants, those who delayed treatment did not experience significantly different outcomes than those who did not.
Another long-term study examining almost 3,300 subjects with elevated IOP, all between the ages of 40 and 80, looked at treating high eye pressure before glaucoma versus waiting. Researchers found that, over decades, there was not much difference between the patients who received treatment immediately and those who did not. The study concluded that monitoring eye pressure meant intervention came sooner, and more people kept their sight.
Ultimately, the best treatment approach and timeline will depend on a variety of personal factors. Discuss these with your doctor to best determine how to proceed.
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Does Dry Eye Syndrome Stop Naturally
Some cases of dry eye syndrome can stop naturally. The only way to ensure your dry eye will go away naturally is through a proper diagnosis from an eye doctor. Only then can you know the cause of your dry eye.
If your dry eye is caused by medication, health problems, or environmental factors, it may go away naturally if adjustments are made. Some examples might be switching medication, addressing a health issue, or taking medication to combat environmental factors such as allergies.
How Does Sinus Affect Your Eyes
As we move from winter into spring, many who suffer from seasonal sinusitis or allergies maybe a little hesitant to embrace the warmer weather and change of season.
Severe headaches, fever, nasal congestion, pressure or facial tenderness, a blocked nose, a sore and itchy throat and an uncomfortable cough are common symptoms that indicate that your sinuses or allergies are acting up. But, did you know swelling eyelids, bulging and red eyes, impaired eye movement and double vision can also be signs that you are suffering from the seasonal change?
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When Does Antibiotic Resistance Occur
Antibiotic resistance occurs in a persons own body and within the community when certain drugs no longer work for a specific type of germ. This can occur when bacteria change in response to exposure to antibiotics so that the antibiotics no longer work efficiently against the bacteria.
Therefore, allergists and other specialists recommend limiting the use of antibiotics unless:
- Symptoms last over seven to 10 days
- Specific symptoms are present
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
Conditions causing your chronic infections may include:
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How Colds And Sinusitis Develop
The common cold is a viral infection that spreads from person to person through contact with infected objects or in the air. After touching something infected with the virus and then touching your mouth or nose, the virus enters your body.
You may also be more likely to develop a cold if youre around someone with a virus whos coughing and sneezing.
While the common cold is linked to a viral infection, sinusitis may relate to a bacterial infection or allergies. When you make contact with a bacteria, virus, or allergy trigger, the membranes in your sinuses become inflamed, blocking the opening of your sinus cavity and making it difficult to breathe.
Your body also produces more mucus to fight the infection, further limiting your ability to take in air through your nose. This excess mucus can build up inside your sinus cavity and increase your risk for an infection.