Sinus pressure occurs when membranes around nasal passages become inflamed or swollen. Sinus congestion and pain can make sufferers uncomfortable, but there are ways to find relief. Read on for tips about how to identify your type of sinus congestion and pain, where you feel it, why you feel it and how to find sinus pain relief.
What Causes Sinus Pain and Pressure?
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces connected to your nasal passages that help humidify air as you breathe in and produce mucus that helps trap bacteria and foreign particles. When nasal passages and their tissues become irritated, mucus can build up instead of draining normally. This build-up causes swelling and often causes pain and pressure in your sinuses. Swollen and inflamed tissues can also cause pressure on nerve endings around your sinuses. This leads to dull or throbbing pain and aches.
Several factors can cause nasal passage irritation and bring on sinus pressure symptoms.
- Environmental irritants – Airborne pollutants such as those that cause allergies can trigger mucus build up and sinus pressure.
- A sinus infection – Sinusitis, more commonly known as a sinus infection, could be a cause of your sinus pressure and pain. If you think you may have a sinus infection, talk to your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
- The common cold – Not every cold is the same but sometimes symptoms include mucus build up, which can mean sinus pressure and pain.
Sinus Pain and Pressure Causes
There are different types of sinuses, each of which can cause different sinus pain symptoms. The images below show what causes sinus pressure in different areas of your face, neck and head and can be helpful to pinpoint relief or discuss with your doctor.
Frontal sinuses causes forehead pain and headaches.
Ethmoid sinuses causes pain between the eyes and across the nose.
Maxillary sinuses causes pain in the cheeks, upper jaw or teeth.
Sphenoid sinuses causes pain behind the eyes, on the top of the scalp or along the back of the head.
How to Relieve Sinus Pressure and Pain
Now that you know what causes sinus congestion, you can determine how to relieve sinus pain. Here are a few tips and tricks for easing sinus pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Chill Out Your Sinuses
Anything you can do to cool your head can ease sinus pain symptoms. An ice mask, bag of ice or a cold compress can help.
Massage and Relax
Stress often makes your sinus symptoms feel worse. Gently massaging your neck and shoulders, while not linked to your sinuses, can help you relax, giving you relief.
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