We’ve all been there, the toddler in the family has stuffed a lego or a jigsaw piece in his or her nose and is crying uncontrollably. You quickly call an ambulance or rush to the emergency room and the doctors have it removed.
It’s a common enough occurrence and not particularly memorable. But what happens when you start feeling the same thing as an adult, but a small toy stuck in your nostrils is out of the question?
If you’re thinking, “Definitely feels like something is stuck in my sinus cavity.”, you’d be surprised. Many conditions can make it feel like there is something stuck in your sinuses. But cases of there actually being a foreign body are quite rare.
In this article, we’ll go through all the possible causes responsible for making it feel like something is stuck in the sinuses and what you should do. Let’s begin.
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Feels Like Something is Stuck in My Sinus Cavity
Sinus pain might be caused for several reasons. Infection of the gums, toothache, upper respiratory tract infection, polyp formation can cause pain and irritation of the sinus. Sometimes infections may cause the sinuses to be filled up with mucus or other discharge.
This may lead to your sinuses feeling clogged and heavy. So more often than not, if there is sinus pain, foreign bodies are not responsible.
However, there are rare cases when any substance may penetrate the roof of the mouth and insert itself into the paranasal sinus.
The maxillary bone that separates the mouth cavity from the sinus congestion can be very thin. Substances like fragmented pieces of teeth, leftover material from dental procedures, etc. are seen to pass through the bone and enter into the paranasal sinuses.
Again, a severe injury like trauma from a sharp penetrating object or firearms can leave behind material inside the sinus cavity. This may cause infections and inflammation as well.
The best way to diagnose whether anything is stuck inside the sinuses is through an X-ray. However, if the sinuses are clogged then it’s not possible to get a clear image through the X-ray. In this case, more advanced CT scans are used to view the interior of the sinuses from all angles.
What Are Sinuses and How Many Are There?
There are four pairs of sinuses located just behind your face. These are the frontal, the sphenoid, the ethmoid, and the maxillary sinuses. They are air-filled cavities that perform various functions like reducing the weight of the skull and moistening the air in the nasal cavity.
The sinuses are made of gaps and cavities within the facial bones and are interconnected to each other as well as the nasal cavity. They help regulate the air pressure inside the nasopharynx, treat the air before it enters the lungs, and also produce mucous that helps clean the nose.
On the other hand, due to the connection between the nasal cavity and the sinuses, infective agents can sometimes spread from the nose to the sinuses causing sinusitis. This causes inflammation of the sinuses that results in feelings of something stuck in the nasal cavity. pain and discomfort. If left untreated this can cause more serious complications like meningitis.
Sinus infection or Foreign Body?
The feeling of something stuck in the sinus cavity can be caused by sinus inflammation and sinusitis.
But in rare cases, there might be something lodged inside your sinus that is causing the problems. But it’s important to find out which is the root cause of the issue before trying to solve it.
Pay Attention to the Symptoms
The first clue to figuring out what’s causing your sinus pain is by taking a closer look at your symptoms. The symptoms of sinus cavity infection are similar to that of a common cold or toothache. But these symptoms along with a detailed medical history can almost confirm sinusitis before any laboratory investigation is even made.
Common symptoms of sinus pain include sinus pain, rhinitis, nasal congestion, etc. On the other hand, a foreign body present in the sinus cavity may present symptoms like nasal passage obstruction, bad breath, discharge of pus and mucus from the nose, etc. The difference in the symptoms may help your physician determine the exact cause of your problem.
So try to keep a record of the symptoms you’re experiencing and relay it to your doctor with as much accuracy as possible.
See a Dentist
Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a toothache from sinus pain. This is because the maxillary sinus is located right above the roof of the mouth. So pain in the paper row of teeth could lead to pain being associated with the maxillary sinus.
Pain in the teeth is usually sharper and more focused. This type of pain may increase if pressure is applied to the affected tooth or if the jaw is moved. Sinus pain, however, is more diffused and exaggerated with movements of the whole head, like tilting or bowing.
To rule out toothache as a probable cause of sinus pain, it’s better to consult a dentist for a full checkup.
Symptoms of Sinus Infection
The symptoms of sinusitis begin with those similar to a viral infection or common cold. These symptoms then progress into sinusitis when there is a superimposed bacterial infection. Sinusitis may also be caused by pollen, nasal polyps, tooth infections, etc.
The common symptoms of SInus infections are:
- The feeling of pressure behind the nose, cheeks, forehead
- Dull pain behind the face
- Nasal congestion
- Discharge from the nose
- Bad breath
- Postnasal drips
- Sore throat
- Cough and irritation
- Hoarse voice
If you are facing these symptoms, you should go see a doctor as soon as possible. Sinus infections are fairly common and are not life-threatening.
Simple antibiotic therapy is usually enough to cure sinusitis within a few weeks. But if left unchecked, it may lead to dangerous complications.
Remedies for Sinus Infection
There are many simple at-home remedies that you can make to help clear sinus infections. These may help to reduce the effect of the symptoms of sinusitis or to help cure it once and for all.
Here are the best remedies that you can follow to fight sinus infection:
Sinus flush is a very effective technique to clear out congestions from the nose and sinus cavities. Nasal irrigation helps flush out the interior spaces of the nasopharynx and the sinus cavity. This removes clogged materials like mucus, purulent secretions, infective materials, etc.
You can use a Neti pot and lukewarm saline water for the best effects. Don’t use tap water as it might have microbes that may cause more complications if they make their way into the nasal cavity. Be sure to use distilled or boiled water for flushing.
Use a Nasal Spray
Nasal decongestion sprays are a very popular means to help with sinus pressure. They are available over-the-counter at every drug store. These sprays stimulate the mucosa of your nose, help reduce congestion and swelling and also reduce the feeling of something stuck in the nasopharynx.
Some sprays may cause rebound swelling if used for too long. So ask your doctor’s advice to see which one is most suitable for you. If you face any complications or side effects while on nasal spray, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention.
Steam therapy using hot water or hot compress can help to alleviate sinus pain. Take a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam through the noise. Make sure the steam is at a tolerable temperature, if it is too hot, it may scald the linings of your nose. This helps to reduce inflammation and relieve pressure in the sinus.
You can also try covering your face with a warm damp towel. Make sure you cover the forehead and the cheeks. This helps transmit the heat to the frontal and paranasal sinuses and reduces sinus pain.
One of the main reasons behind nasal irritation and subsequent nasal problems is dehydration. Dehydration can lead to a dry nose, which leads to irritation, infections, and inflammation. This can lead to infections in the sinuses causing sinusitis. So staying hydrated is very important when dealing with sinus pain.
Make sure you drink enough water. Try having fruit juice for added vitamins. Warm soup is also excellent in helping relieve nasal congestion and sinus pain.
Get a Humidifier
Dry air is the enemy when it comes to dealing with sinus problems. Dry air causes nasal irritation. This can cause further inflammation of the mucosa, worsening your sinus pain.
Avoid staying in air conned rooms for long periods of time. Use a humidifier or vaporizer on your desk or next to your bed. The added moisture in the air will help reduce congestion and aid in recovery.
Get Enough Rest
Call in sick. The fastest way to recover from sinus pain is to wait till it passes. Getting enough rest allows your body to actively fight infections as well as accelerating the time to heal. Putting stress on your body while sick not only elongates the time it needs to get better but also may cause the condition to get worse.
Stay indoors. Get plenty of sleep. Eat healthy. Getting enough rest and proper treatment will get you better in no time.
Following these simple do-it-yourself remedies can help you treat sinusitis at home. But if the problem persists for more than a week, consult with a medical professional. Always remember that there is no substitute for proper medical treatment.
So this covers how you should deal with sinusitis when it causes sinus obstruction or the feeling of something stuck in the sinus cavity. However, there may be some rare cases when a foreign object makes its way into the sinus cavity and causes infection and inflammation. Let’s take a look at hope this might happen and what to do if it does.
Foreign Body in Sinus Cavity
Cases of there being foreign objects stuck in the sinuses are very rare. But there are cases where something might be stuck in the sinus cavity for it to cause chronic sinusitis. These cases usually have histories of dental procedures, trauma, or injury.
In cases following dental procedures, there might be displaced fractured roots of teeth, dental burs, or other materials used in dental procedures that can be found in the sinus. It is most commonly seen in the maxillary sinus, as it is separated from the upper row of teeth and the oral cavity by a very thin sheet of bone.
In more severe cases, fragments of bones, foreign objects may get lodged into the sinus cavities following blunt injury. In this case, foreign objects penetrating the sinus cavity may be left undiscovered for years. This may result in chronic sinusitis.
These objects can’t be easily seen in X-rays. A CT scan of the region is done to properly identify the culprits and are then surgically removed.
What to Do if Something Is Stuck in the Sinus Cavity
If you think that there might be something stuck in your sinus cavity, it’s a safe bet that you’re suffering from sinusitis or sinus inflammation. The chances of there being something lodged in your sinuses are very slim. So you should first seek treatment for sinusitis.
Follow the tips discussed above and see if the problem subsides. If the problem is too much for you to deal with, consult a doctor and start a course of antibiotics and decongestants.
If your problems persist, or you have a history that predisposes you to the possibility of there being a foreign object stuck in your sinus cavity, inform your doctor. Proper diagnostic tests like X-Ray, CT scans, and MRIs can be used to see if there is anything out of the ordinary.
So, if it feels like something is stuck in your sinus cavity, there’s no need to panic. Try the at-home remedies to see if the problem subsides. Consult your doctor and follow their advice and medication properly.
Take precautions to prevent nasal and sinus irritation. Protect your nose from cold dry air, keep away from allergy triggers, try to make sure the air in your surroundings is free from harmful substances like dust and smoke. Proper hygiene and preparedness can go a long way to prevent nose and sinus infections.
Why does it feel like something is stuck in my sinus?
The feeling of something stuck in the sinuses is most commonly attributed to sinusitis and sinus inflammation.
When the sinuses get inflamed, the interior spaces of the sinus may get filled with mucous or other secretions. This causes the sensation of fullness or heaviness in the sinus.
Should I use Nasal spray for sinus pain?
Using nasal decongestant sprays can clear blockages of the nasal cavity. This can help clear sinuses and alleviate sinus pain.
What do I do if there’s something stuck between my nose and throat?
Nasal irrigation or using a neti pot can be very effective in removing congestions and clearing the nasopharynx.
If that doesn’t work and the problem persists, visit a doctor or your nearest hospital.