Sep 16, 2021
Ultimate Guide To Relieving Sinus Pressure
5 minute read
Sinus pressure is uncomfortable, to say the least, and it’s often connected to seasonal allergies, resulting in sinus pain. In many cases, pressure in your sinuses and sinus cavities can be extremely painful, causing discomfort, tenderness, and headaches that make it tough to function at work or home. Sinus pressure can be acute, lasting just a few weeks (less than eight), or chronic, lasting at least 12 weeks.
So, what causes sinus pressure, and how can you get the relief that you need when you’re dealing with it? This post has all the information that you need. We’ll explore the causes behind sinus pressure, the symptoms, and treatment options (like pain relievers, home remedies, nasal sprays, OTC medication and prescription medicines, nasal rinse, and more) to try. Let’s get started!
Sinus Pressure Explained
Sinus pressure can pop up in multiple areas around your face. These areas are where your sinuses (maxillary sinuses, frontal sinuses, ethmoid sinuses, sphenoid sinuses) are located. They include the space behind your forehead and above your eyebrows, around your cheekbones, right behind your nose, and on both sides of the bridge of your nose. You may also experience pain or pressure in your temples due to sinus pressure.
Your sinuses are tiny cavities that are filled with air. Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses, can develop when the membranes in your nasal passages located around your sinuses get inflamed. This discomfort can stem from swelling from an injury, and allergies or a bad cold can often cause it too.
Types of Sinus Pressure
Several different factors can leave your sinuses inflamed with discomfort and pain in your sinuses. These are all types of sinusitis but can have different causes:
Bacterial Sinusitis. A sinus infection, can sometimes develop as colds progress. Sinus infections are very common, and they can be treated with antibiotics. However, the symptoms of sinusitis can sometimes last for long periods of time, even lingering for weeks in chronic cases.
Viral Sinusitis. When you have a cold or an infection from a virus, you may still experience sinus pressure from the common cold (along with a sore throat, nasal secretions, and more).
The congestion you deal with as your cold progresses can make your head feel stuffed up, causing symptoms like aches, pains, and tension in your sinus area.
This pressure can be treated with decongestants like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. You can also use common pain relievers such as aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, and ibuprofen to help with the pain. You can also try natural remedies such as meditation, saline nasal sprays, and drink plenty of fluids to combat dehydration. A hot shower can do wonders as well (thanks to all the steam!)
- Allergic Sinusitis. If you deal with seasonal allergies, you’re likely to experience some sinus pressure from time to time. Pollen, dust, mold, and other allergens can all cause inflammation in your sinuses, which can sometimes even lead to the development of acute sinusitis.
Sinus pressure due to allergies can turn into a sinus infection in some cases, but that doesn’t mean that you’re contagious. Sinusitis from allergies is not contagious. Nevertheless, it’s always smart to practice good hygiene when you’re experiencing sinusitis.
Why Do I Have Chronic Sinus Pressure?
If you’ve been dealing with sinus pressure and pain for weeks or even months, you’re most likely suffering from chronic sinusitis. Many factors can lead to this type of sinus infection, including viruses, bacteria, allergies, and more. Below are some of the circumstances that can leave you at greater risk of developing chronic sinusitis.
Nasal polyps. These growths can block airflow through your nostrils, causing increased pressure in your sinuses. If you suspect that you have a nasal polyp, make sure to pay a visit to your doctor.
Prolonged exposure to allergens. If you’re living or working in an environment that triggers your allergies, the inflammation caused by your allergies could result in sinusitis. Until you rid your environment of allergy triggers, or change your living or working situation, or use medications to help with your allergies you’re likely to continue dealing with some symptoms.
Colds, viruses, and other illnesses. Getting sick often makes it more difficult for mucus to drain from your nose and clear out your nasal passages. This buildup of mucus, can make nasal discomfort worse, causing sinus pressure and pain.
A deviated septum. If you have an uneven wall of tissue between your two nostrils, you may not be getting even airflow through your nose. A deviated septum can cause obstruction in the way our sinuses drain, leading to a higher risk of sinusitis.
If you are suffering from chronic sinusitis, visiting your doctor is a must. The best way to find relief from chronic sinusitis is to consult a medical professional. Your doctor may prescribe you medication or recommend that you use over-the-counter remedies to get the relief you need.
Getting Relief from Sinus Pressure
There are plenty of at-home solutions for sinus pressure, including allergy medication, saline sprays, neti pots, and more. Below, we’ll rank some of our favorite remedies for when sinus pressure is ruining your day.
- Do you have sinus pressure from allergies? Cleared can help. At Cleared, we’re pros at diagnosing and treating stubborn cases of allergies. After you complete a simple at-home allergy test, one of our allergists can set you up with a treatment plan that works for you.
This plan may include immunotherapy medication, prescription or over-the-counter allergy meds, or supplements like lozenges. Thanks to Cleared, you can get an allergy relief regimen that’s tailor-made to meet your needs. To learn more, click here.
Are you looking for DIY relief? Try a neti pot. The neti pot is a staple in the ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda. This tool allows you to rinse your nasal passages by inhaling distilled water into one nostril and exhaling it out the other.This allows you to clear the allergens from your nose and reduces the inflammation caused by allergens.
Stay hydrated. One of the biggest causes of nasal congestion is dryness, and getting to the root of your congestion is one of the best ways to find relief from sinus pressure. Drinking enough fluids can help to get air flowing normally through your nasal passages again, getting rid of the blockage that’s causing your sinus pressure and pain.
Use a warm compress. This simple DIY remedy for sinus pressure is just a warm towel pressed against your forehead, just above your eyes. It’s a soothing sensation that can help to relieve some of the discomfort in your sinuses.
Want To Learn More?
If you’re curious about managing your seasonal allergies and symptoms like sinus pressure, make sure to check out Cleared’s many allergy resources. We’ll help guide you through all your allergy questions and can help you get started with the best treatment plan suited for your allergy needs.
Reviewed by Dr. Payel Gupta
Acute sinusitis - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic
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