Does Drinking Coffee Affect the Sinuses?

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An allergic response can cause sneezing and runny nose.
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Coffee is enjoyed for its flavor and for the caffeine that can help wake you up and provide a temporary boost of energy. According to the Mayo Clinic, for most people a cup or two of coffee doesn't cause an adverse reaction. If you have a coffee allergy, sinus it could cause sinus issues.

In some cases, coffee may simply elicit an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to its naturally occurring compounds. For example, you might notice a relationship between caffeine and a stuffy nose. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing sinus problems.

Tip

If you have a coffee allergy, sinus issues can occur. However, coffee isn't typically among the foods that cause sinus inflammation.

Read more: 14 Legit Ways Coffee Can Boost Your Health

Identify Sinus Problems

The air you breathe makes its way to your lungs by way of the sinuses, which are a group of four hollows that lie just below your skull. The hollows, known as sinus cavities, are lined by a thin tissue that contains glands that secrete mucous.

When this tissue becomes inflamed by illness or allergy, you can experience a runny nose or nasal congestion. Your body elicits a response to an antigen such as bacteria or viruses or to an irritant by triggering increased secretion of mucous in the sinuses combined with swelling of the tissue.

Coffee Allergy and Sinus Issues

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to coffee, consuming it can cause a narrowing of the sinus passages. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology explains that an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms of a coffee allergy can include a stuffy nose, sneezing and pressure or pain in the area around your sinuses.

A severe allergic reaction can cause complete closure of your airways and is a medical emergency. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines and decongestants can help decrease the allergic response but does not cure an allergy.

Runny Nose After Drinking Coffee

If you have a runny nose after drinking coffee, it could be from pre-existing sinus conditions such as seasonal allergies or sinusitis. These conditions can be made either better or worse by the consumption of coffee. The steam that emanates from a cup of coffee can help to relieve inflammation and open your sinuses.

In addition, because caffeine in coffee is a vasoconstrictor, it can reduce swelling of blood vessels in and around your nasal passages. If you have an allergy to commonly used ingredients added to coffee such as milk or cinnamon, eliminating these substances can help decrease sinus congestion.

Read more: How Many Cups of Coffee Can You Drink a Day?

Drink More Water

It's important to stay adequately hydrated if you are experiencing sinus problems, according to Cleveland Clinic. Coffee has a mild diuretic effect that increases the amount of water your body excretes.

Because coffee can lead to dehydration, water should be emphasized to provide the mucous membranes with moisture that can draw out antigens.

If you have sinus congestion that is accompanied by a high fever, significant pain in the sinus area with yellow or green discharge, or if your symptoms last for more than 10 days, according to Mayo Clinic.

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