A cold, allergies, coughing, and sneezing can all influence in sinusitis. However, the fact that these can be an influence in ear infection is not commonly known. The reason that sinusitis and ear infection are related is that the sinuses and the ear are connected by a tube in the inner ear called the Eustachian tube.
Before explaining further how sinusitis and ear infection are connected, I will explain them one at a time, beginning with sinusitis, then moving on to ear infection. When one is suffering from the cold, flu, or allergies, there tends to be stuffiness in the sinuses. The stuffiness is caused by the sinuses. They produce mucous in an effort to clean the sinus tissue from the dirt and bacteria breathed in. Whenever the sinuses sense impurities or bacteria, they produce more mucous. Sometimes this is counterproductive, because the bacteria may settle in the sinus tissue and cause inflammation or sinusitis. The mucous then gets blocked in by the inflammation, and instead of cleaning out the bacteria, it invites bacteria to grow.
After swimming, bathing, playing in the snow, or other water activities, water collects in the ears, and if it is not properly cleaned out, it drains into the Eustachian tube. Because the Eustachian tube is only slightly slanted, even less in children, the liquid often settles in the Eustachian tube, inviting ear infection. Similar to sinusitis, ear infection can inflame and swell, blocking further drainage. Ear infection can cause dizziness, headaches, ear aches, and other ailments.
Consider what happens when one having sinusitis blows his or her nose, coughs, or sneezes. Where does the air go? True, much of the air goes through the mouth and nose, but much of the air pressure goes out toward the ears. That means that infection is also pushed out toward the ears, making sinusitis an indirect cause of ear infection.
It also works the other way around. Infection in the ears can also drain down into the sinuses, inflaming the sinus tissue and causing sinusitis.
Both sinusitis and ear infection are surprisingly simple to prevent. Proper and frequent cleaning of the ears with Q-tips will prevent liquid from draining into the inner ear, inviting infection to settle in the Eustachian tube or other tissue. Preventing sinusitis is just as simple. Just as we wash our hands throughout the day to prevent bacteria and disease, we should wash out our nasal passages with nasal spray on a regular basis. This cleans out germs that enter the body through the mouth and nose. In using nasal spray, one should keep in mind that studies have shown xylitol to be a natural bacteria repellant that one should look for as the leading ingredient in nasal spray. Because it is sugar free, it also reduces the ability of bacteria to leave behind damaging acids.