Can Sinus Infection Make You Dizzy and Tired?

Sinus infection or sinusitis has a number of different symptoms, which some can be very bothersome. Sometimes the symptom that appears is dependent on where the infection and inflammation occur. For example, the inflammation of frontal sinuses often leads to headache. Can it also make you dizzy and tired?

Sinusitis (topic overview)

As the name implies, it is inflammation of sinuses (small, air-filled cavities in the skull). It can be attributed by a number of causes. Viral infection is often to blame. In other cases, it occurs due to the infection of bacteria or fungi. A tooth infection, deviated septum, nasal polyps, and allergies can trigger this inflammation, too.

The condition can be acute or chronic. Acute means it lasts for a short time, typically less than 4 weeks. Fortunately, most cases of sinusitis are acute (mild, not serious).

If it lasts longer (more than 8 weeks), we usually call this as chronic sinusitis. For such case, your doctor may need to diagnose the underlying cause, because it may be linked to particular health condition.

Some key points to remember:
  1. Normally, there is only a thin layer of mucus inside your sinus cavities.
  2. Sinus infection can lead to inflammation (swelling). And the swollen sinus cavity will inhibit the normal flow of mucus that drain into the nose, causing a buildup of mucus. As a result you have nasal congestion. This blockage may worsen the infection.
  3. Taking antibiotic right away is not necessary, even though if the infection is caused by bacteria. The doctor usually suggests watch-and-wait approach to see the problem gets better without antibiotic. This is aimed to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.
  4. Again, the overwhelming majority of cases are caused by virus (typically after a common cold). For such kind of sinusitis, it usually will relieve and heal in time.

Dizziness

The description of this symptom can vary. It can mean different things – but in general, it is used to describe lightheadedness and vertigo.

Lightheadedness (near syncope)

It is a symptom in which you have feeling that you’re going to faint. Typically, it occurs when there is no enough blood that flow to the brain.

For example, it is quite common in elderly people when they stand up too quickly (a sudden drop in blood pressure). Dehydration (due to fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or something else) can lead to lightheadedness, too.

It is usually caused by mild problem, not serious. But in a few cases, it may signal particular, more serious conditions such as stroke, heart problems, or internal bleeding.

Vertigo

It is a term used to describe the condition in which you’re moving or spinning when actually there is no motion.

You can get it easily when you spine yourself around and around, then stop suddenly. If it occurs in the normal course of living, it may be liked to particular health condition (typically problems affecting the inner-ear’s vestibular system or something else).

Tiredness

Tiredness, also referred to as fatigue and lethargy, describes the state of being weak (tired) physically or/and psychologically. Although physical and psychological tiredness are not same, in fact they are often found together. For example, if you’re physically tired for long enough, you’re also likely to get mentally exhausted.

Many times, this symptom can be traced to your routines /habits. It is usually caused by some of the following lifestyle factors:

  1. Abusing alcohol.
  2. Getting exhausted due to excess physical activity. Interestingly, lack of physical activity can also contribute to cause fatigue.
  3. Sleep deprivation (lack of sleep).
  4. Jet lag.
  5. Poor diet (unhealthy eating habit) is also sometimes to blame.

But if it persists (lasts longer than usual) or is followed with unusual symptoms, it could be a symptom of particular health condition.

In fact, there are lots of underlying conditions (from mild to serious) that can contribute to cause tiredness. The common ones include: anemia, depression, anxiety, chronic conditions (such as diabetes and kidney disease), emphysema, heart problems, thyroid diseases, and even cancers.

Can sinus infection make you dizzy and tired?

Sinus infection is often considered as mild, harmless condition. It is rarely linked to serious problem. Even in some cases, it relieves on its own with nothing more than rest and fluid. However, if the complications of the condition have occurred, some could be serious. Therefore, it’s also important to understand when to promptly seek medical attention!

The bad news, the symptoms can be quite bothersome. Even in a few cases, they may interfere with your daily activities.

Does it also lead to dizziness and tiredness (fatigue)? Again, these symptoms can be attributed by lots of factors. And your sinus infection could be one of them – this is particularly true if you also experience some of the following main sinusitis symptoms: