A little-known link between chronic sinusitis and depression and anxiety is emerging. There have been several recent studies showing the link between sinus conditions and mental health disorders. This is interesting and may explain why patients with sinus problems don’t always feel that well. When you have sinus problems, your mood, energy and drive can be affected.
People with chronic sinusitis get headaches, nasal congestion and nasal drip. Any person who has a headache knows that that is not fun. Having headaches all the time is depressing, really. The headache takes over a person’s day, and makes you not want to do anything but get rid of the headache. It can stop you from having fun, wanting to do things and it blocks your enjoyment of life. The same goes for nasal congestion, when your nose is always blocked, you lose out on the smells of foods and enjoying meals. Being congested all the time forces you to breathe out the mouth. This in turn, causes a dry mouth and sometimes hoarseness. Sleep can be affected. Those with nasal congestion often wake up in the middle of the night with an extremely dry mouth. When you lose sleep at night, your next day is affected.
A recent study in Korea found a clear link between chronic sinusitis and depression and anxiety [JAMA Otolarygnol Head Neck Surgery. 2019;145(4):313-319]. The million-dollar question that was not answered is, “Do sinus problems cause depression and anxiety,” OR “Do depression and anxiety amplify sinus symptoms?” The association between sinus problems and depression was clearly established on this study that looked at over a million people and took in over eleven years of information.
Whether sinus problems cause anxiety and depression or depression and anxiety cause more sinus conditions; both problems need to be addressed. The sinus problems are often treated with medications, and when this doesn’t work, the recently effective procedure, balloon sinuplasty. Depression and or anxiety should be treated by professionals as well.