Even temporary sinus pressure and pain caused by a cold or allergies can be frustrating. Sinus issues can cause such back facial pain or head pain that daily activities feel impossible. The departure of these symptoms can be a welcome relief. When symptoms do not resolve after a few days, or they recur every few months or weeks, quality of life can diminish. People who say “oh, it’s just my sinuses acting up” may not even realize how much they are negatively impacted by their sinus condition until they finally get help. Here, we discuss what may cause short-term sinus pressure and pain and what you might do to alleviate your symptoms quickly.
Causes of Sinus Symptoms
A stuffy nose, congestion, and sinus pressure may result from irritants or allergens in the air. Microscopic particles of certain substances may cause inflammation in the sinuses. The sinus cavity may swell and have difficulty draining fluid. When there is too much fluid in the sinuses, the nerves around the area can become irritated and compressed. This is why sinus pressure and pain often go hand-in-hand.
Relieving Sinus Pain
There are several remedies you can try when sinus pain occurs. They include:
- Maintain an elevated position. As much as it may be tempting to lie down until pain and a throbbing headache go away, elevation can be one of the best ways to help fluid drain from the sinuses.
- Steam the sinuses. Taking a shower with warm enough water to create moderate steam may help thin the mucus that builds up in the sinuses. An alternative is to warm water in a pot and stand safely over the steam for a few minutes.
- Hydrate. Nasal and sinus inflammation can be worse when you’re dehydrated. If you are experiencing sinus symptoms, drink plenty of water and, for added benefits, some warm herbal tea throughout the day.
- Move the body. Understandably, you aren’t likely to want to exercise when dealing with sinus pressure and pain. However, a walk or other gentle activity can increase blood flow that could help fluid move out of the sinuses more quickly.
Help Beyond Remedies
As helpful and convenient as home remedies can be, they don’t work for everyone. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, or they continually return a few times a year, the next best step is to consult with a sinus specialist. Dr. Gould is a board-certified Otolaryngologist and an internationally recognized pioneer and researcher of In-Office Balloon Sinus Dilation. Patients of our St. Louis sinus center can explore the underlying cause of sinus pain and pressure along with treatment options to resolve and manage symptoms efficiently.