Did You Know Your Sinuses Can Cause A Seizure?

by Jodi Shaw

I never would have believed it unless I’d experienced it for myself. There I was sitting on the sofa writing my husband a note to go to the store when suddenly… I lost all control over my writing hand.  Then I couldn’t move my left hand either. My chest didn’t feel tight but tingly and almost as if someone was cutting off some of my air. I felt dazed and confused and then hubby walked into the room.

“Jodi are you alright?”  FD asked. 

He sounded like he was under water when he spoke to me. I stared at him. Instantly tears sprung into my eyes and I realized I couldn’t feel my face. All I could do is stare at my husband, tears rolling down my cheeks.

I felt terrified and I thought. OMG I’m having a stroke. Then my arms and hands started to twitch…

There are a wide variety of possible symptoms of seizures, depending on what parts of the brain are involved. Many, if not all, types of seizures cause loss of awareness and some cause twitching or shaking of the body.

However, some seizures may be hard to notice because they consist of staring spells that can easily go unnoticed. Occasionally, seizures can cause temporary changes in sensation or vision.  

Sinititis can lead to loss of balance, seizures, stress, absess on the brain and even a coma and death if left untreated.

So I was taken to the hospital. I was checked out. I had an MRI and Cat scan and blood work and EEG.  Everything came back normal except the scans which told the doctor I had a seizure (my first ever) and that my sinuses are severely blocked, frontal and left side of my brain.

I had no idea this could happen. I’ve been on a waiting list for like 2 years to see a specialist. Now I have to go see another doctor to see if we can put a rush on seeing the ear, nose and throat specialist.

I’ve had problems with my sinuses since I was kid, as far back as I can remember. When I get a cold, it always lasts a long time. I get worn down easily and it’s always painful.  My sinuses has even led to me having severe Vertigo which just began again several weeks ago.

So be wary. Don’t think you are safe because it can happen to you. If your sinuses are acting up, get in and see a doctor and make sure you take care of yourself.

One thing that has helped me so far is using straight Menthol.  I put a little on a kleenex, thanks to my friend Shirley and sniff it. Using saline as well is helping some.  But for now I’m going to rest up and take it one day at a time. All I know is that it’s pretty scary when you have something happen out of the blue and all because your sinuses are blocked!

Thanks for reading!

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Dee December 14, 2017 - 1:51 pm

I was advised by my ENT that Benadryl & other decongestants other than Musinex WILL cause sinuses to become infected. Make sense now after reading all these messages. Thanks everyone! Merry Christmas!

Dee December 14, 2017 - 1:45 pm

Jodi, thanks for your info. It’s helping me with an adult dog that my hubby & I adopted from a shelter Oct. 2016. She was given up by her owner due to having seizures. Blood work does NOT confirm them, but she was put on Kepra anyways & although it may help, she still gets them & they were getting worse. Always when the pressure changes or after myself or hubby has had a sinus migraine, I know she’ll probably have a seizure soon & does. She’s been on an antibiotic for a UTI & not a seizure since!!! Putting together what your saying with the sinuses & seizures I’m seeing possibility of a plan that I can discuss with her Vet. Thank you so very much for sharing!!!! She has a great Vet. & if you don’t mind, I’m going to show him your blog so he can get an understanding that I’m not crazy. Also, my ENT recommended for my sinuses a daily moisturizer that you can make at home & it’s cheap/works….maybe it can help you. Get any nasal spray, pop top off dump out 1/4 th, empty into a microwaveable bowl, take any 1st aid salve, squeeze 1/2 the tube into spray in bowl. Microwave a few seconds until you can stir both together, let cool, pour back into nose spray bottle. Shake before you use, which can be as needed. Wished that I could get you here, to the States….you’d be seen in a WK. & I could show you around. Do pray this DIY will help.

Jodi Shaw December 16, 2017 - 8:40 pm

Those are great tips, I’m going to try it! I still have severe sinus problems and sleep apnea, which I’m working on. I’m on a new wait list for an ear nose and throat different guy as the last guy basically told me to lose weight or die, no help given. I’ve gained weight because the medication I’m on keeps it on me. Such a vicious circle. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! 🙂

Dawna October 15, 2017 - 6:42 pm

Thanks for this article and all of the others responding. I had my first seizure 11 months ago at age 43 and had 2 last Monday. I have always felt it was because of sinus issues but no tests or Dr’s to confirm it. I’m gonna try the b12 and keeping hydrated to see if that helps with the sinus. The day that I had the 2 seizures I was really dizzy with sinus pressure. Thanks for helping me believe I’m not crazy!

Lisa May 2, 2017 - 6:15 pm

Im 47 and in good health. I had my first seizures 4 days ago. At the same time, I had a horrible sinus headache. I was at work when it happened and thankfully a friend was there to call my husband. I had 6 small seizure-like episodes (as the hospital calls it) within 2 hours. As much as I tried to tell the doctors it was caused by a sinus infection, no one would listen to me. Over the course of the next 4 days, I’ve been tested for everything. All came back normal. Today at the hospital, they wanted to do a spinal tap. I refused and insisted it was caused by a sinus infection. They released me from their care as a result of my “stubbornness”. I’ve not been home long now, did a google search and found your blog. Thank you for publishing this. I don’t feel crazy anymore.

Jodi Shaw May 4, 2017 - 6:19 pm

You aren’t crazy, Lisa. Whenever our sinuses are plugged or infected our equilibrium is altered. I get vertigo and seizures whenever I get really sick. It’s awful. The pressure change is bad. I get plugged ears and what not. I did find out though what can help is taking vitamin B12 it’s the main vitamin we need because most of us don’t get enough dairy, protein, meats and veggies. B12 is the most important vitamin to help with body balance. I just started taking it. I will let you know how it helps, maybe publish an article on it in relation to my sinuses.

Keep your chin up and stay stubborn. You know your own body 🙂 Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. And thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me.

Joann January 26, 2017 - 7:16 am

I’ve had siezure all my life, since I was a baby, then at 15 my doctor decided to take off the siezure medicationbecause I wasn’t having siezure. Then at the age of 19 I started getting siezure again, and every since I’ve been dealing with it. So every time I get sick with my sinuses infections I get siezure, can anyone tell me what can I do, I’ve gone to my ENT Doctor and he give me antibotic, and some steroids for the sinuses inflammation.

Jodi Shaw January 26, 2017 - 11:32 am

Not much other than surgery and keep your sinuses clear. It’s hard I’ve been several times to see specialist and their answers are always the same 🙁

gungun March 9, 2016 - 6:31 am

wanted to know wat medicine did u take for ur seizure n for how long…..did u get the seizure again after u were treated for sinusitis

Jodi March 9, 2016 - 2:25 pm

I never got them again after my sinustitis went away. I did use Nasanex prescribed by my doctor and it helped big time.

gungun March 9, 2016 - 9:26 pm

wat medicine did u take for seizure n for how long…..because my son who is 16 yrs old is also having d same problem n hv been prescribed Dilantin n levetiracetam for seizure n for 2 yrs n augmenting for sinusitis for 5 days

Jodi March 10, 2016 - 8:17 am

I did reply already to this question gungun, I took Nasanex that’s it, and basic Advil.

suzie nichols November 17, 2015 - 7:29 am

I was diagnosed with epilepsy nearly 5 years ago. I was having nocturnal seizures- maybe 6 in total over the period of a year. I had an mri with nothing showing up apart from the fact that my sinuses were really congested. My mother has always had severe sinus infections and I guess I get it from her. My epilepsy was never attributed to my sinuses even though I asked about this. I was told that if you have a tendency towards having seizures then decongestants, strong painkillers, antihistamines should be avoided. These meds. all dehydrate you which can lead to triggering a seizure. I had just had several bad colds during the year I started having seizures and was relying heavily on lemsips etc. Since my diagnosis I have avoided all meds apart from my epilepsy meds and paracetamol. I do get really awful sinus headaches now and then that make me feel physically sick. I’ve found that using the saline neti pot has helped plus using a steam inhaler. Sometimes just a hot water bottle on my face is the best thing! I’ve been seizure free for 5 years now (once I was diagnosed that was it!) and have recently come off the epilepsy meds. I still avoid all medication apart from paracetamol occasionally and look after myself to avoid triggering a seizure- making sure I get enough sleep, avoid too much stress etc. It would be interesting to see if my sinuses were actually the reason I was getting seizures as they couldn’t attribute them to anything- just ‘one of those things’! I’ve always thought that it could be this.

Jodi November 17, 2015 - 10:51 am

I’m just now seeing another ear, nose and throat specialist. So I’m hoping he will confirm what the surgeon at hospital told me which was it was a sinus seizure.

Bob March 19, 2015 - 9:58 am

About two years ago I had my first seizure. Had a ct scan and they found a growth on my right side
of my brain. I have MRI’s regularly and am now on Kepra, which since being on such had experience
very few small seizures during the day. Did some research and am taking 500 mg time relase Niacin
and have been doing very good, until I started having sinus issues. Now, I am experiencing small seizures again. I also think the sinus pressure is having affect with these seizures. After reading many reviews, it is becoming more evident this is a problem area. I will be calling my Neologicist today and see what he has to say about this. Still, I haven’t experienced these issues until the sinus pressures started to develop. Hope this helps some of you out there.

Jodi P. Shaw March 21, 2015 - 9:00 am

I did get some help, no seizures anymore the pressure is gone, I used saline, cut back on smoking, lost some weight still working on it though. It’s not a fun thing to do, I hope you can get some answers Bob for your problem and wish you so the best of luck. It’s scary when you are not feeling well but have no reason to pin point why it’s happening. Thanks for commenting and sharing 🙂

Debbie August 27, 2013 - 5:29 am

my mom has simple partial seizures. Has had ct scans and mri. everything is fine. It's been going on for 2 years now. However, it stopped for the winter months. She's been swearing form day 1 that it feels like it starts in her sinuses.

Kim November 30, 2012 - 2:39 pm

I have horrible sinuses and I am terrified of this.

And WOW 2 years to see a specialist? Why so long, how is that possible?

Jodi Shaw December 1, 2012 - 2:35 pm

Some people have been waiting four years.

Tami November 30, 2012 - 6:58 am

WOW! I am stunned! I had no idea! My son just had surgery on his nose. The left side was totally blocked and he had a lot of complications because of it. I had no idea seizures could have happened. I am glad you are okay!

Coleen November 30, 2012 - 12:59 am

Wow, this is really scary. Right now my teenager is bedridden because he is in agonizing pain from sinusitis. He was in to see the Doctor and was put on an antibiotic. I'll be watching him closer now.

Hope you're on the mend!


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