Exercising with a Sinus Infection

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For the body to function well, exercising is a the surest way to keep it healthy. However, when you have sinus infection, how do you know if you should continue your workout schedule, scale back a bit, or take a temporary break to get some rest? People always ask about exercising with a sinus infection. This article will discuss everything sinus infection


What is a sinus infection?

A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Sinuses are hollow spaces within the bones between your eyes, behind your cheekbones, and in your forehead. They make mucus, which keeps the inside of your nose moist. That, in turn, helps protect against dust, allergens, and pollutants.

Exercising with a sinus infection

Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.


Causes of Sinus infection 

Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include:

  1. The common cold
  2. Allergic rhinitis, which is swelling of the lining of the nose caused by allergens
  3. Small growths in the lining of the nose called nasal polyps
  4. A deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity

Types of sinus infections

There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:

  1. Acute sinusitis. This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection (acute bacterial sinusitis).
  2. Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks. 
  3. Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
  4. Chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur. Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Sinusitis symptoms often resemble those of a cold. The main criteria for viral sinusitis include:

  • facial pain or pressure
  • infected nasal discharge
  • nasal congestion
  • loss of smell
  • Cough or congestion
  • Fever
  • Bad  breath
  • Fatigue

Note : For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, it’s important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT), to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.


Who Gets It?

Lots of people. About 35 million Americans have sinusitis at least once each year. It’s more likely if you have:

  1. Swelling inside the nose like from a common cold
  2. Blocked drainage ducts
  3. Structural differences that narrow those ducts
  4. Nasal polyps
  5. Immune system deficiencies or medications that suppress the immune system

For children, things that can cause sinusitis include:

  1. Allergies
  2. Illnesses from other kids at day care or school
  3. Pacifiers
  4. Bottle drinking while lying on the back
  5. Smoke in the environment

Exercising with a sinus infection 

  • Listen to your body first. If you have no fever, mild to moderate exercise is ok, depending on how you feel.
  • Low impact exercise can be helpful, as long as you do not have a fever and your symptoms are above the neck.
  • Many forms of moderate exercise can be beneficial to continue or start if you are experiencing a sinus infection.
  • Some of the best choices are taking a brisk walk or a light bike ride.
  • Try to avoid any activities where you have to lower your head, which will only increase the pressure on your sinus cavities. 
  • Another excellent low-impact exercise is yoga, which can help improve circulation and breathing, help white blood cell production, relax the mind and body, and can help facilitate healing.
  • However, it is essential to remember to listen to your body when exercising with a sinus infection. Make sure you stop and rest if your body is telling you to do so. 

Benefits of moderate exercising with sinus infection

Here’s how these moderate exercises can help you:

  1. Unclog Nasal Passages: Light exercise while you have a sinus infection can loosen sinus congestion and pressure by stimulating the flow of nasal discharge through the increase in circulation. Increasing your body’s core temperature also loosens mucus.
  2. Boost White Blood Cells: Your white blood cells are components of your immune system that actively seek out and fight various forms of infection. When you exercise moderately, these cells increase their numbers and circulate more quickly through your body to fight the disease.
  3. Trigger Endorphins: Endorphins are released from your brain to be your body’s natural stress and pain fighter. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which can help trigger a happy and confident feeling.

Can I Prevent Sinusitis?

There is no sure-fire way to prevent sinusitis. But there are some things that might help.

  • Don’t smoke, and avoid other people’s smoke.
  • Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season, and try not to touch your face.
  • Stay away from things you know you’re allergic to. Talk to your doctor to see if you need prescription medicines, allergy shots, or other forms of immunotherapy.


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