Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Sinus Disorders and Sleep
An individual can have sinus and nasal complaints as a result of inflammatory, anatomic and environmental problems. When a person has chronic sinonasal complaints, they often impact the quality of their sleep and/or ability to tolerate sleep treatment. At Mass Eye and Ear, sleep and sinus specialists work together to diagnose and treat such complaints.
Inflammatory conditions that can impact the nose and sinuses include sinusitis (chronic sinus infections) and allergies. Anatomic conditions that also impact the nose and sinuses include deviated septums, enlarged turbinates, or narrow bony structures of the face. These can be improved with medications, devices and surgery.
All of these issues can result in limited airflow through the uppermost portions of the airway, impairing one's ability to breathe during sleep.
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Facial pain/pressure
- Post-nasal drip
- Nasal drainage
- Decreased smell
- Ear pressure
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis of nasal and sinus problems may include physical exam, nasal endoscopy, allergy testing and/or imaging. Treatment of sinonasal issues depends of the underlying problem but include:
- Salt water (saline) irrigations and spray, nasal emollients
- Intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. Flonase), allergy medications
- Devices such as nasal strips and dilators
- Nasal airway surgery (septoplasty, turbinate reduction, rhinoplasty)
- Sinus surgery
Meet Our Team
Our sleep specialists as well as our physicians in the Sinus Center can assess problems related to the sinuses.
Did you know?
Research has shown that blowing your nose generates excess pressure in your nasal cavities that could cause additional pain and swelling.
Staying hydrated helps to loosen mucus, which can help drain congested sinuses.
For congestion relief, sleep with your head elevated on a few pillows and maintain a position where your head is above your heart.