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Painful, uncomfortable sinus pressure can make an already unpleasant cold even worse. Luckily, you don’t need to suffer the symptoms when you start to feel sinus pressure. Sinus pressure often goes away on its own, but there are ways to ease your symptoms and prevent the need for more serious treatment. Over-the-counter nasal decongestants can be a great option for treating sinus pressure.1 Nasal decongestants reduce the swelling of blood vessels in your nose, relieving congestion and easing sinus pressure. If your sinus pressure becomes painful, over-the-counter pain relievers can also provide relief.1 Many medications intended to target sinus congestion contain acetaminophen for pain relief.
In addition to treating your symptoms with medicine, several home remedies can help provide relief. Try a warm compress on the areas of your face that feel pressure or pain.2 Steam is also a great home remedy for sinus pressure.2 Dry sinuses can increase sinus pressure. Steam adds moisture to the air and can thin the mucus in your nasal passages. Take a warm, steamy shower or purchase a humidifier.
What Causes Sinus Pressure?
Depending on the cause of your sinus pressure, the way you treat your symptoms will look differently. If you experience sinus pressure, it’s most likely caused by sinusitis. Sinusitis means your sinuses are inflamed. Often, sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, but it can also be caused by a cold, nasal problems, or even allergies.1
Your paranasal sinuses are the hollow air spaces within the bones of your face surrounding your nose.2 Mucus leaving the frontal sinus, behind your forehead, and your maxillary sinuses, behind your cheeks, drain through the ethmoid sinuses behind the bridge of your nose.2 If your nose is swollen, your sinuses can be blocked, causing pressure and pain.1 When the sinuses in your nose become blocked, your other sinuses are likely to also become clogged, which is why you feel sinus pressure in different parts of your face.2 Other symptoms that may accompany your sinus pressure include fatigue, cough, congestion, and postnasal drip.1
If your symptoms are severe and last for more than a week, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Based on your symptoms and looking at your nose, they will have a better idea of what is causing your sinus pressure. If you have bacterial sinusitis, you may be prescribed an antibiotic.2
How to Prevent Sinus Pressure
If you’re prone to experiencing congestion or sinus pressure, there are steps you can take to prevent your nasal passages from being blocked.
- Rinse your nasal passages. Run water gently into the nasal passages to help clear excess mucus and moisten membranes.
- Stay hydrated. Good hydration helps keep the mucus thin and loose.
- Avoid dry environments. Keeping a humidifier in your home can help prevent your nasal passages from drying out.
- Elevate your head. When laying down, mucus pools in your sinuses. Propping your head up with pillows can help.
Even though your sinus pressure will likely go away on its own, there are ways to make the pain and discomfort more bearable. Over-the-counter medication and home remedies like warm compresses can provide sinus pressure relief. For a remedy that treats nasal and sinus congestion and pain, try Theraflu Sinus & Pain Hot Liquid Powder. Dissolve the powder in hot water for a warm drink that can provide soothing comfort.