Do you suffer from jaw pain? One factor that you may not have considered is allergies. Allergies can contribute to ear, jaw, and even neck pain. In this article we are going to go into a little more detail so that you can understand how allergies can give you quite a bit more than sneezes.
Understanding your sinuses
Allergies can often cause inflamed and irritated sinuses. So what are sinuses anyway? Your sinuses are pairs of spaces on your face, surrounding the nose. You have four pairs of them, located in the following places:
- Frontal sinuses – These sinuses are located above your eyes.
- Ethmoids -Ethmoids sinuses are located between your eyes, just behind the your nose at the bridge.
- Sphenoids – This pair of sinuses is located directly behind your eyes.
- Maxillary sinuses– This set of sinuses is located in your cheekbones.
How your sinuses relate to pain
Inflamed sinuses can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. Each of the sinuses can produce particular manifestations of pain in the jaw, neck, ear, and other places. Once you know a little more about the symptoms associated with each one then it’s quite a bit easier to tell if allergies might be producing the pain that is keeping you up at night. So now that we have identified the 4 pairs of sinuses, let’s discuss the symptoms that they might produce if agitated. Your sinuses and the associated pains are as follows:
- Frontal sinuses: When infected, the Frontal sinuses often respond by delivering a whopper of a headache or pain in your forehead.
- Ethmoids: With the Ethmoid sinuses infected, you can expect a stuffy nose and in severe cases, you can temporarily lose your sense of smell.
- Sphenoids: Infected Sphenoids are definitely a downer. While these are the least likely to get infected, when they DO then you can look forward to neck pain, earaches, and even a bonus headache centered in the top of your head.
- Maxillary sinuses: Are you experiencing jaw pain just under your ear? Congratulations, you may have irritated maxillary sinuses. The maxillary sinuses, if infected, can produce tooth pain, jaw pain, and even give you a sore set of cheeks.
What can you do if you suspect allergies are the culprit?
Neck, ear, jaw, and throat pain… all of these could very well be your allergies. In the case of the throat, drainage from infected sinuses could very well spread that infection to your throat. Yuck! So, what can you do? Ear pain is probably our least favorite, with jaw pain a close second. That said, there are a number of over the counter sinus medications that may be employed. If you really want to blow them out of the water, visiting your allergist is a great idea. If visiting the allergist is not a good financial fit for you at this time, there are other alternatives that you can do at home.
- Exercise – While some of you just cringed at the mention of this, exercise for 20 to 30 minutes(not vigorous but not too little, a moderate level is perfect.) has been shown to reduce sinus pressure dramatically. It is believed that the exercise produces an anti-inflammatory effect in your body.
- Nasal spray – Nothing clears out the old sinuses quite like a good nasal spray. Pick some up at the store and keep it handy in the medicine cabinet for emergencies. To use nasal spray, simply close up one nostril and inhale sharply from the other as you squeeze the bottle. Repeat for the other nostril and have some tissue handy. While it feels a little weird at first you’ll find a bit of relief as your sinuses get a little medication relief.
- Apple cider vinegar – Considered an excellent natural remedy, a tablespoon of this is said to encourage mucus production, cleaning out those sinuses for you and getting you a little relief when you need it.
“By ingesting it in miniscule doses, one can build up an immunity.”
- Over the counter sinus medication – Why not? This is medication that specifically targets your sinuses. That’s handy to have on hand, requires no preparation(beyond a glass of water), and it WORKS.
- Nettle leaf – This you can grow in your garden or obtain fairly easily online. Nettle leaf is reputed to block histamine production in the body, thus serving as a natural remedy for allergy woes. You can drink it in a tea or simply order some empty capsules and make some handy doses for when you need them.
- Honey – Not just any honey, mind you. The honey that you ingest should be local honey. Why? Well, it is believed by some that bees making the honey are ingesting the pollen that might be irritating you right now. By ingesting it in miniscule doses, one can build up an immunity. Think of it as a natural allergy cure. Does it work? Well, many people swear by it, but if you are worried, that over the counter medication will definitely do the trick.
A visit to the allergist
If none of these do the trick for you, consider putting aside a little money to visit the allergist. There are a number of tests that an allergist can run and while it takes a little time, they can identify things that you had no idea that you were allergic to. This is useful information and can greatly enhance the quality of your life. Say goodbye to that jaw, ear, and neck pain!
Within this article we have described your sinuses and how infection in these sinuses can contribute to various forms of pain. Neck pain? That’s the sphenoids. Jaw pain? Your maxillary sinuses. Memorize the information that we have provided and you may be able to save yourself a medical visit in the future. Knowledge is power, use what you have learned here well and kick those allergies to the curb!