Sinus & Allergy

Relieving Sinus Pressure: Simple Strategies to Feel Better

written by Becki Andrus
Relieving Sinus Pressure

When the sinus pressure is building, do you feel desperate for a treatment or solution to relieve the pain and pressure? Outside, everything looks normal. But inside, it feels like your head is going to explode.

Sinus pressure is commonly associated with people who have the common cold or seasonal allergies. When the nasal passages are running, the congestion can build up and cause inflammation. Usually, the original cause of upper respiratory symptoms is viral or allergies. But a secondary bacterial infection can develop because of the conditions that are created in the sinuses. When sinuses are unable to drain, it results in pain and discomfort throughout the sinus areas: near the nose, forehead, and face.

What Does Sinus Pain Feel Like?

Sinus pain can occur in several areas of the face, depending on which sinuses are affected by congestion and inflammation. Sinuses are paired, with two sinuses located in each of these areas of the face:

  • Sphenoid: Behind the eyes and also in the back areas of the head
  • Maxillary: In the upper areas of the cheeks
  • Ethmoid: Across the nose and between the eyes
  • Frontal: In the lower part of the forehead

You might notice pain and discomfort in one or more of these areas. It’s possible for multiple sinuses to be affected by a sinus infection. But sometimes, the infection is localized in one area of the face.

Pain is the most common symptom of sinusitis, and it is often accompanied by other symptoms. Here are some of the things you might notice:

  • Pain behind the eyes, in the cheeks, and the forehead
  • Dull pain that intensifies when you lean over
  • Sometimes the pain leads to a headache
  • The pain can radiate into the teeth
  • Nasal discharge colored yellow, green, or cloudy
  • Postnasal drip, causing a sore or itchy throat
  • Nasal congestion, making it hard to breathe through the nose

In the beginning, the symptoms might be minor. But when the infection is left untreated, the symptoms can build up over time, resulting in an immediate need for medical care.

How Do I Relieve Sinus Pressure?

The best way to relieve sinus pressure is to open up the sinuses so they can drain. This process usually involves a treatment plan to eliminate the infection or the underlying cause of congestion. As long as the nasal passages and sinuses stay congested, you will continue feeling pain and pressure.

For acute sinus conditions, such as a sinus infection that happens after a head cold, your doctor might recommend an antibiotic to clear up the infection. When the sinus pressure is constant and recurring for more than 12 weeks, then other treatments might be considered. For example, a balloon sinuplasty or other surgical treatments can offer a way to open the sinuses for drainage.

If a surgical method is used to open the sinuses, it’s important to implement a treatment plan to address the underlying issues. For example, if allergies cause chronic congestion and a runny nose, then you need to be proactive in treating the allergies – which will help to reduce congestion and sinus pain in the future.

How Do You Get Rid of Sinus Pain Naturally?

What is best for sinus pain? You can talk to an ear, nose, throat doctor about medical treatments and interventions. Also, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of at-home sinus remedies. Taking a proactive approach to care for your sinuses can be an essential step in healing your pain and relieving the sinus pressure you feel.

Here are some of the most effective natural remedies for sinus pain and pressure:

  1. Steam and Humidity: When the air dries out, it can increase your sinus pressure and magnify the pain. Use steam to increase the humidity in the air, which moistens the sinus passes. As a result, the mucus in the nose can thin, which helps with drainage and relief. Try using a humidifier in your home. Also, a hot shower or bath can be a great way to breathe in the steam. You can increase the effectiveness by adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your bath.
  2. Nasal Rinse: Rinsing the sinuses can help to flush out the buildup that is causing your discomfort. Saline washes have salt that reduces sinus pressure by increasing nasal moisture. Saline spray is available for purchase at a local pharmacy. Another option is to use a neti pot with distilled, purified water, and a saline mix-in.
  3. Hydration: Also, look for ways that you can hydrate from the inside out. When your body is dehydrated, it can contribute to drying out in the sinuses. As a result, sinus pressure increases. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. You can also add other sources of hydration, such as herbal tea, broth soups, and fruit with high water content.
  4. Head Position: Do you notice that the congestion worsens when you lay down? The pressure can be unbearable when you are lying flat because it promotes a mucus buildup in the sinuses. Try sleeping with an extra pillow to prop your head up, so it’s positioned above your heart. This position will not only help with congestion management, but it promotes good sleep. Quality sleep is critical for supporting your immune response and overall health.
  5. Warm Cloth: When the sinus pain is intense, you can find immediate relief by putting a damp, warm washcloth on the affected areas. Lay down with your head elevated, and relax while the heat of the cloth opens your nasal passages.

Even though taking an over-the-counter medication doesn’t fall in the category of “natural remedies,” it deserves mention. Certain decongestants can provide the much-needed relief for which you are looking. Decongestants relieve stuffiness and reduce the swelling that is happening in your nasal passages. Sometimes, the use of decongestants for a few days can reduce the symptoms enough so that your body can heal from the infection. Also, antihistamines are recommended if the sinus pressure is related to seasonal allergies.

Should You Visit with an ENT About Sinus Pressure?

It’s not necessary to call an ENT at the first sign of sinus pressure. But you shouldn’t hesitate to book an appointment if the pressure is lasting for more than a few days. An ENT can offer treatment recommendations for acute sinus infections, as well as chronic and recurring sinus conditions.

Since the pain can disrupt many areas of your life, you shouldn’t delay treatment. Talking with an experienced ENT can be one of the best things you can do to find relief and return to your usual way of living.

Are you looking for an ENT near the Dallas or Collin County area? Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat offers two convenient offices, located in Frisco and Plano, TX. Reach out to us if you have questions about appointments or treatments.

You are invited to schedule an appointment through our online booking form, or call the office if you’d like to talk to a member of our staff: (972) 596-4005.

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