- Ten home remedies to relieve sinus pain and pressure
- What to do for sinus pressure and pain at home
- When to see a doctor for sinus pain
- What to do about sinusitis
- How to Relieve Sinus Pressure Once and for All
- How to Relieve Sinus Pressure
- Address the *Real* Problem
- SINUS PRESSURE AND PAIN
- What Causes Sinus Pain and Pressure?
- Sinus Pain and Pressure Causes
- How to Relieve Sinus Pressure and Pain
- How to Relieve Sinus and Nasal Congestion
- Sinusitis treatment
- The 7 Best Ways to Relieve Sinus Pressure, According to Doctors
- Where are your sinuses—and what is sinus pressure?
- 1. Use some steam—but don’t expect a long-term cure.
- 2. Try nasal irrigation.
- 3. Stay hydrated (seriously).
- 4. Use decongestants, but only temporarily.
- 5. Pop a pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen.
- 6. Opt for a nasal steroids
- 7. Go under the knife for sinus surgery.
- 10 Ways To Relieve Sinus Pressure
- Sinus Pressure is Caused by Blocked Nasal Passages
- 1. Flush Out Your Nasal Passages
- 2. Soothe with Steam
- 3. Try Acupressure to Relieve Sinus Pressure
- 4. Hydrate
- 5. Rest and Relax
- 6. Find Relief with Warm Wash Cloth Compression
- 7. Explore Essential Oils
- 8. Indulge in Spicy Foods
- 9. Use Elevation to Your Advantage
- 10. Know When It’s Time to See a Doctor
- Get Relief from Chronic Sinus Pain
Ten home remedies to relieve sinus pain and pressure
The pressure is building in your forehead, your nose is running, and you just don’t feel good. You suspect that you may have a sinus infection, or sinusitis. Most sinus infections will resolve themselves in seven to 10 days, just by taking care of yourself at home.
What to do for sinus pressure and pain at home
Here are the top 10 at-home treatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.
- Flush. Use a Neti pot, a therapy that uses a salt and water solution, to flush your nasal passages. Nasal irrigation using the Neti pot has been a tried-and-true sinus treatment method for centuries. I have patients who swear by Neti pots and use them daily or weekly to keep their sinuses flowing well. Remember to use distilled water only.
- Spray. Use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray that contains salt water to help keep your nasal passages moist, unblock congestion and treat inflammation. Some sprays, like Afrin®, can only be used for a maximum of three days. If you exceed three days, you will get “rebound” or worse nasal congestion. Other nasal sprays, like fluticasone, are more effective the longer you use them.
- Hydrate. Drink a lot of fluids—water and/or juice—to help thin your mucus. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can cause dehydration.
- Rest. Get plenty of rest to help your body fight infection and speed up recovery. While you sleep, prop yourself up with a couple of pillows. Staying elevated can help you breathe more comfortably.
- Steam. Breathe in steam from a pot or bowl of warm (not too hot!) water or take a hot shower. You also can place a warm, wet towel on your face, followed by a cool towel. to help ease sinus pain and open your nasal passages.
- Spice. Eat spicy foods to help clear your nasal passages. Add hot peppers, hot sauce, horseradish or wasabi to your meal.
- Add humidity. Use a humidifier or vaporizer in your room while you sleep to add moisture to the air and help reduce congestion. Dry air, tobacco smoke and chlorinated water can irritate the mucus membranes in your nose and create an environment ripe for sinus infection.
- OTC medication. Take over-the-counter decongestants, antihistamines (if allergies are the culprit) and pain relievers to reduce sinus pain and pressure. Be sure to check with your doctor first if you have any health issues or take other medicines. Never give decongestants or any over-the-counter cold medicine to children under age 4. Nasal suction is the best form of “decongesting” for young children. This also reduces post-nasal drip and overall lung irritation.
- C is key. Up your intake of vitamin C. This may help fight off sinus infection faster, reduce sinus inflammation and relieve the duration of a sinus infection or cold symptoms.
- Know your triggers. Know what can trigger a cold or sinus infection and be prepared. Start taking an antihistamine prior to allergy season or use a Neti pot right away at the onset of a cold.
When to see a doctor for sinus pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT, otolaryngologist) for your treatment options.
What to do about sinusitis
There are many things you can do to reduce your chance of developing sinusitis or to relieve early sinusitis symptoms. One of the most important is to promote drainage and keep nasal passages clear. Here are some suggestions:
- Bathe your nasal passages daily. Run water gently into the nasal passages to help clear excess mucus and moisten membranes. (See “First line of defense: Nasal irrigation.”) Good times to do it are in the morning and at night, when you brush your teeth. “Brush, then flush,” is Dr. Metson’s motto. During the day, use nasal saline spray to moisten nasal passages.
- Drink lots of water. Good hydration helps keep the mucus thin and loose. Have a bottle of water at your desk at work or put a glass near the kitchen sink to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
- Inhale steam. Linger in a hot shower. Or bring water to a boil and pour it into a pan; place a towel over your head, and carefully bend over the pan to inhale the steam. To avoid burns, keep your distance at first and move in gradually to a comfortable zone.
- Avoid dry environments. A humidifier in your home (in particular, by your bed) and where you work can help prevent nasal passages from drying out. Keep humidifiers clean and free of bacteria and mold.
- Sleep with your head elevated. Mucus pools in your sinuses at night when your head is down, so have your head propped up with pillows or a wedge during sleep.
- Be nice to your nose. Blow your nose gently, one nostril at a time. Forceful blowing can irritate the nasal passages and propel bacteria-laden mucus back up into your sinuses.
- Avoid antihistamines unless prescribed. Antihistamines make mucus thick and hard to drain. But if your sinusitis is triggered by allergies, your clinician may still want you to take an antihistamine along with other medications.
- Be careful with decongestants. Tablets containing pseudoephedrine act on blood vessels to shrink membranes and keep nasal passages open. Nasal sprays containing phenylephrine or oxymetazoline also work well — and quickly. But using topical nasal decongestants for more than a day or two runs the risk of setting off a spiral of dependency as a result of rebound — increased swelling after the medication wears off. (According to Dr. Metson, a shorter-acting spray, such as 0.25% or 0.5% Neo-Synephrine, is less likely to cause rebound than longer-acting ones like Afrin.) Oral decongestants can cause jitters and increase blood pressure, so if you have high blood pressure, don’t use them without consulting a clinician first.
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
How to Relieve Sinus Pressure Once and for All
Inside your sinuses is a thin mucous membrane similar to the one you’d find in your nose. “This membrane produces mucus, which is usually swept away by hair cells (cilia) and drains into the nasal cavity via openings called ostia,” says Arti Madhaven, M.D., of Detroit Medical Center Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital. That mucus also filters out particles like dust, dirt, pollutants, and bacteria. (Related: The Step-By-Step Stages of a Cold—Plus How to Recover Fast)
Sinus pressure becomes an issue when there are physical obstacles to the flow of air through your sinuses. If there are too many particles in your sinuses and that mucus can’t drain, blockages start to form. And “that backed up mucus is a perfect culture medium for bacterial growth, which triggers an inflammatory response by your immune system,” says Dr. Madhaven. “The result is swelling, which can cause facial pain and pressure.” That’s called sinusitis, and the most common triggers are viral infections, common colds, and allergies.
If that sinusitis goes unaddressed, you could be setting yourself up for acute sinusitis, or a sinus infection. (Anatomical defects like a deviated septum or polyps could also be to blame, but those are much less likely.)
How to Relieve Sinus Pressure
So what do you do to deal with all that pressure? You can use the same treatments whether you’re trying to relieve sinus pressure in your face, head, or ears; at the end of the day, it’s an inflammatory response.
First, you can manage your symptoms with nasal corticosteroids, some of which can be obtained over-the-counter (like Flonase and Nasacort), says Dr. Madhaven. (Talk to a doc if you’re using them long-term, though.)
Also helpful: “Drink plenty of fluids, inhale steam or humidified air, and press warm towels to your face,” says Dr. Bhandarkar. You can also use nasal saline rinses and sprays, decongestants, and over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, he says.
Alternative treatments such as acupressure and essential oils may also be effective, he adds, but you should definitely be evaluated by a physician if the pressure continues for seven to 10 days, is recurrent, or is chronic. But usually, sinus pressure is due to a virus and will resolve on its own.
Address the *Real* Problem
Make sure you actually get to the real root of the issue. “Many people misinterpret facial pressure to be automatically related to the sinuses because of the location and thus universally term this ‘sinus pressure,'” says Dr. Bhandarkar. “Although sinusitis is one cause of pressure, many other conditions, including migraine and allergies, can cause similar symptoms.”
Antibiotics, for example, won’t help if you’re dealing with a virus, and antihistamines are only useful for allergies, so it’s important for you to keep track of your symptoms, know your health history, and see a doc if this becomes an ongoing problem.
SINUS PRESSURE AND PAIN
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.
Try SUDAFED® to Relieve Sinus Pressure and Pain
For a treatment that works to relieve sinus symptoms day and night, try SUDAFED PE® Sinus Congestion Day + Night for powerful congestion relief.
How to Relieve Sinus and Nasal Congestion
You know how uncomfortable sinus and nasal congestion can be, but have you ever wondered exactly what your sinuses are? And where they’re actually located? Understanding more about your sinuses can help you get some much-needed sinus and nasal congestion relief.
The sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in your skull. Some sinus cavities may be about an inch across, while others are much smaller. Experts don’t know why we have sinuses but one theory is that they help humidify the air we breathe in. Another theory is that they help decrease the weight of the skull and enhance our voices.
When you’re suffering from sinus congestion and pressure, you probably feel it most in your eyes, forehead and cheeks. That’s because these areas hold your largest sinus capillaries. Your cheekbones hold your maxillary sinuses (which are the largest), your forehead is home to your frontal sinuses, and the area between your eyes contains your ethmoid sinuses. There are also tiny sinuses called sphenoid sinuses located in the bones behind your nose.
Your sinuses are lined with a soft, pink tissue called mucosa. When you’re healthy, your sinuses are empty, besides a thin layer of mucus. However, when you’re suffering from a cold or allergies, your sinuses may become inflamed and produce more mucus to fend off the intruders, whether it’s bacteria or allergens. When you’re suffering from sinus and nasal congestion, you may experience other body side effects such as a headache, ear pain, or neck and shoulder pain. So, how can you relieve sinus and nasal congestion? Try the following tips:
Give yourself a sinus relief massage: You can use your fingers to gently massage your sinuses to get nasal congestion relief. For example, place your index fingers on both sides of your nose where the nose and cheek meet (with one finger on each side), and apply moderate pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use your index fingers to apply pressure on the bridge of your nose, right between your eyebrows; hold for 2 to 3 minutes. This sinus massage will bring comfort to your nasal passages.
Irrigate your sinuses: Flushing out your sinuses with salt water can help clear out mucus and other irritants (like pollen, dust and bacteria) and reduce inflammation of the mucous membrane, resulting in better drainage. This can be done with a neti pot, syringe or various other products that can be found in drug stores. When using a nasal rinse, be sure to use sterile or previously boiled water, and rinse and dry the device thoroughly after each use.
Take a decongestant: Over-the-counter nasal decongestants reduce blood flow to the nasal membranes, which decreases swelling and congestion. They can help open up your nasal passages and decrease pressure in your sinuses. For fast relief, try Sinex™ Daytime Liquicaps—the non-drowsy formula contains a powerful pain reliever and phenylephrine, a safe and effective decongestant. If your sinus congestion is worse at night, try Sinex™ Nighttime Liquicaps. In addition to a pain reliever and decongestant, it contains an antihistamine to help stop sneezing and a runny nose, so you can get some much-needed rest.
Try a nasal spray: Sinex™ Severe Nasal Spray helps relieve the sinus and nasal congestion that often accompanies colds, hay fever, or upper respiratory allergies. It is a fast acting nasal spray decongestant that shrinks swollen nasal membranes so you can breathe more freely.
There are several treatment options for sinusitis. They vary depending on the cause of your condition.
You can use a saline nasal spray. This will clean out your nasal passages and help clear congestion. Your doctor may suggest a decongestant nasal spray to treat swelling. Do not use this for more than 3 days. It can worsen the swelling in your sinuses once you stop using the medicine.
A process called nasal irrigation can provide relief. A saline solution through a device called a neti pot (which looks like a small teapot with a long spout) can flush out your sinuses and help loosen thick mucus. It is important to use distilled or sterile water, or tap water that has been boiled for 3 to 5 minutes and cooled. Regular tap water is not safe to use because it has not been properly filtered or treated. Some tap water contains organisms that can cause serious infections in your nasal passages.
Decongestant medicines relieve sinus pain and pressure. In general, you should only use them short-term. Over-the-counter pain relievers can relieve pain and aches as well. Talk with your doctor before using an over-the-counter cold medicine. Some can make your symptoms worse or have other side effects.
Your doctor can prescribe allergy medicine to treat conditions caused by allergies. Severe cases caused by bacteria may require an antibiotic. Your doctor will instruct you to take this for 10 to 14 days. However, you often will start to feel better after taking it a few days. Make sure you finish all the medicine your doctor prescribes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises against the use of ear candles to treat sinusitis. Ear candling involves inserting a special candle in the ear. It is supposed to pull wax and debris out of your ear as it burns. Ear candles can cause serious injuries. There is no evidence to support their effectiveness.
The 7 Best Ways to Relieve Sinus Pressure, According to Doctors
If you’ve ever had a sinus infection, you know what it feels like to have sinus pressure so bad you think your face might actually explode. Luckily, it doesn’t; but all the aching, throbbing, and stabbing pain can make you seek out the nearest blanket to hide under indefinitely.
Unfortunately, sinus infections aren’t the onlyreason behind nagging sinus pain—allergies, environmental changes, and even anatomical differences can also leave you feeling pain and pressure, Christopher Thompson, MD, an otolaryngologist at Mission Hospital in Orange County, tells Health.
But regardless of what’s causing your sinus pain, one thing’s for sure: You want it to go away ASAP. Here, medical experts weigh in on what’s going on in your sinuses, and how to make the pain go away—fast.
RELATED: What Is a Sinus Headache, Anyway? Doctors Explain How They’re Treated and Prevented
Where are your sinuses—and what is sinus pressure?
When it comes to sinus pressure, it’s essentially swelling in your sinuses in response to three different scenarios: a pressure change between the air inside your sinuses and the air outside your sinuses (like when you fly in an airplane), when irritants invade your sinuses (through allergies or illnesses), or when you have an anatomical issue (like a deviated septum or nasal polyps).
Unfortunately, you can’t cater your sinus pain treatments to what’s causing it—but the good news is that most available remedies can work to reduce inflammation and swelling in your sinuses regardless of what’s causing it. Here’s a guide, according to doctors, on the best ways to treat sinus pain so you can start feeling better ASAP.
RELATED: What Does It Mean to Have a Chronic Sinus Infection?
1. Use some steam—but don’t expect a long-term cure.
Steam—whether from a humidifier or a hot shower—can provide some symptomatic comfort, but isn’t really a long-term solution, Mas Takashima, M.D., chair of otolaryngology at Houston Methodist Hospital, tells Health.
“Certain areas are moist anyway and you can cause an overgrowth of mold ,” he explains. But for people who feel dry air or excessively dry sinuses are contributing to their pain, steam can be helpful.
2. Try nasal irrigation.
Dr. Takashima describes your nose as an air filter for your lungs: It filters out particulates, like allergens and irritants, but if you’re allergic to the particulates that get trapped in your nose it will always feel irritated (and swollen, and congested, and uncomfortable).
A quick way to rinse out those irritants? Nasal irrigation—and there are three different types, according to Dr. Takashima:
- Saline irrigation flushes out your nose to eliminate many of the irritants hanging out there. It can also clear nasal blockages of mucus and thin out mucus overall to make breathing much easier. It works great for pretty much all sinus problems.
- Steroid irrigation mixes saline with a topical steroid to really get into the depths of your sinuses. This allows the steroid (often budesonide) to get to the root of the problem and reduce swelling in some of the harder-to-reach cavities. Steroids are the best medication to treat allergies, so this method is great for seasonal sinus sufferers.
- Xylitol irrigation means flushing with sugar alcohol, a method which has antibacterial and antiviral effects. Xylitol draws water out of the nasal tissues and can decongest you better than saline irritation; it’s a good approach for people with chronic sinus issues, especially when they are starting to get sick, because it might help them avoid a serious flare-up.
RELATED: Are Sinus Infections Contagious?
3. Stay hydrated (seriously).
Yeah, yeah, you already know it: You should be drinking more water. But when it comes to your sinuses, there’s a legit reason why: “The way the nose protects the body is by recognizing irritating things trapped there—the brain then sends a signal to your body get rid of it, and your body produces mucus to clear out the foreign irritant,” explains Dr. Takashima.
If you’re dehydrated, though, your mucus will be too thick to help you clear out irritants. Instead, it will get stuck in your sinuses, causing congestion and possibly infection from bacterial growth. So one more time for the people in the back: hydrate, hydrate, hyrdate—then hydrate some more.
4. Use decongestants, but only temporarily.
You can definitely pop some Sudafed tablets or even spritz some Afrin into your nose, but beware: you can’t do this forever.
“In an acute infection, a decongestant can be useful, but Afrin can become addicting if used for more than a few days and oral decongestants used regularly can have cardiovascular effects,” says Dr. Thompson. “These are targeted for short-term use.”
Also, FYI, patients with high blood pressure shouldn’t use these OTC products, and people who are sensitive to stimulants, like caffeine, might have trouble sleeping when using them, per Dr. Takashima.
5. Pop a pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen.
If your sinus pressure is causing you serious pain, you can also take an OTC pain reliever. Dr. Takashima says NSAIDs like Aleve or ibuprofen typically work better than Tylenol, because NSAIDs are designed to reduce swelling and inflammation. (Tylenol might numb the pain, but it won’t actually help with the cause of the pain.)
RELATED: Is It a Sinus Infection or a Cold? Here’s How to Tell the Difference
6. Opt for a nasal steroids
Allergy sufferers, this one’s for you: Dr. Takashima strongly recommends nasal steroids for people with allergy-related sinus pressure, so if you’re not already using an OTC spray (like Flonase, Nasonex, or Nasocort), you might want to reconsider.
“The only thing to keep in mind is that these don’t work well if you only use them occasionally…you need to use it on a consistent basis,” he says, recommending that patients figure out when their allergies are bad (like during the month of October, for example), premedicate before symptoms appear, and then keep using it throughout the season to avoid symptoms.
7. Go under the knife for sinus surgery.
The word “surgery” is scary, but if you have chronic sinusitis, you should consider seeing an ear, nose, and throat doctor to ask about sinus surgery. “Surgery can be helpful in opening up the sinuses to allow better drainage,” says Dr. Thompson. “You can use as much saline as you want, but if you need surgery and you’re using saline, you’re only flushing out your nose, not your sinuses.”
Just FYI: Chronic sinusitis is defined as having sinus symptoms for more than three months or having more than three sinus infections per year. A 2004 study published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery found that endoscopic sinus surgery reduced major and minor symptoms of 100 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis who had undergone the procedure one to two years earlier.
One final note: Dr. Thompson says that facial pain, including pain in your sinuses, can also be related to migraines, neck tension, or bruxism, aka grinding your teeth. So if you’re having zero luck remedying your pain with traditional sinus treatments, you should talk to your doctor—he or she may diagnose you with a totally unrelated condition that could bring relief.
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10 Ways To Relieve Sinus Pressure
Your nose feels stuffy and it’s hard to breathe. There’s pressure in your head and it’s hard to focus. Sinus pain is ruining your day and you’re desperate for relief.
Before you begin rummaging through your medicine cabinet, consider trying another method to relieve sinus pressure. From massage to essential oil diffusion, we’ve got you covered.
First, we’ll cover the possible causes behind that unbearable pressure. Then we’ll run through 10 methods you can try for relieving sinus pressure, so you can get back to your usual routine with a clear head.
Sinus Pressure is Caused by Blocked Nasal Passages
The pressure you’re feeling is likely accompanied by that stuffed or congested feeling in your nose. You may think it’s fluids that are making it so hard to breathe, but that isn’t usually the case.
A cold or allergies are irritating your nasal membranes. You’re experiencing sinus congestion because your nasal passages are inflamed. The inflammation is causing swelling, and that blocks the sinuses and causes pain and pressure.
The extra mucus – snot – in your nose is being produced to help flush out whatever is causing the irritation. Because your sinuses are already irritated, it’s important not to dry them out. The best way to address the congestion and pressure is to treat the inflammation.
Read on for our tips on how to relieve sinus pressure by reducing sinus inflammation and soothing irritation.
1. Flush Out Your Nasal Passages
Whether you choose a Neti pot or a saline spray, you may experience some relief by flushing out your nasal passages.
This approach offers two benefits. First, you’re moistening those irritated membranes. Second, you are helping to flush out whatever it is that is causing that irritation in the first place.
A Neti pot calls for the use of distilled, sterile water to flush out mucus. A saline spray contains salt, which will help keep your nasal passages from drying out.
2. Soothe with Steam
Dryness could be the main cause of your throbbing nasal pressure. Take advantage of steam, which will add moisture to the air and to your sinus passages. It can even help loosen some mucus.
Take a hot shower and breathe in the steam. A humidifier can be helpful, too, especially for longer-term prevention.
3. Try Acupressure to Relieve Sinus Pressure
Applying pressure to specific parts of your body – in this case, your face and head – may help relieve pain. Use your index fingers to gently press at the base of your nose or gently press your fingertips across the tops of your eyebrows. You can find videos online to guide you through these and other acupressure methods.
A simple massage can help, too. Gently massage your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and your forehead. Make an appointment with a certified massage therapist for professional help and extra relaxation.
You already know that staying hydrated is important for general health, and even more important when you’re ill. Drinking water is especially helpful when you’re experiencing sinus issues. In fact, dehydration can dry out your already irritated sinuses even more.
Retain fluids by drinking water, eating broth-based soups, sipping tea, and snacking on water-based fruits and vegetables.
5. Rest and Relax
Like hydration, rest is a common recommendation for people who are feeling under the weather. If you’re suffering from sinus pressure, make a good night’s sleep a priority. Indulge in a nap if you’re able, too.
Your body can produce more white blood cells while you rest, which can help attack any viruses that may be causing your nasal irritation.
6. Find Relief with Warm Wash Cloth Compression
Gentle heat can help relieve pressure. An easy option at home is to use a warm washcloth. Lay the washcloth across your forehead and the bridge of your nose and relax for a bit.
The steam from the warm washcloth can even help moisten your nasal tissues. You may want to alternate a cold compress, too, which can further help alleviate pain.
7. Explore Essential Oils
You may have heard about the many benefits of essential oils. They can help you relax, invigorate your mind for better focus, and yes, even help relieve sinus pain and pressure.
You can use an oil diffuser, drop some oil in your steam shower, or prepare a hot bowl of water with a few drops and breathe in the steam. Menthol can be helpful, as it can create the soothing sensation of clearing your nasal passages.
8. Indulge in Spicy Foods
Have you ever eaten spicy food and dealt with watery eyes or a runny nose? Spicy foods like hot peppers, horseradish, and wasabi may help clear your sinuses. The spice can help clear mucus and open your nasal passages.
9. Use Elevation to Your Advantage
We don’t mean working on the top floor of your office building. Elevating your head when you’re laying down at night can help provide some sinus relief, though.
Prop yourself up using your pillows to allow your sinuses to drain naturally throughout the night. You may wake up feeling clearer headed, with reduced pressure and pain.
10. Know When It’s Time to See a Doctor
If you’ve tried our various methods and have even tried from over-the-counter medication and your sinus pressure persists, it may be time to see your doctor. Pain and pressure accompanied by a fever may mean you have a sinus infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.
Get Relief from Chronic Sinus Pain
For patients with chronic sinus pain, making an appointment at a sinus & allergy wellness center may be a smart choice.
Before exploring surgical options, the doctors here might suggest an OPEN procedure, which is a noninvasive option that can help relieve your sinus issues. This in-office, outpatient procedure uses a balloon to help expand your sinuses, providing nearly instant relief.
Looking for more health advice? Browse our blog for tips on everything from reducing acid reflux to finding relief from plantar fasciitis. We want to help you create a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
While some over-the-counter treatments can help reduce symptoms, there are also many effective natural remedies.
Dry air and dry sinuses can increase sinus pressure and cause headaches and throbbing pain. Steam adds moisture to the air, helps to moisten your sinus passages, and thins out mucus that may have thickened over time.
Take a hot shower and breathe in the steam to reduce pressure. You can also use a humidifier for more long-term relief.
Buy a humidifier now.
For an extra boost, add eucalyptus oil to your bath to speed your recovery. Eucalyptus contains cineole, an ingredient known to speed healing of acute sinusitis. The oil also may help to reduce nasal stuffiness and clear your pathways.
2. Saline flush
A common treatment for sinus pressure and congestion is a saline wash. Saline spray contains salt that helps to increase moisture in your nose and reduce sinus pressure. You can buy saline spray in drugstores, or you can make your own with baking soda, distilled water, and iodine-free salt.
A good night’s sleep can help the body to heal. Sleep stimulates your brain to release hormones that encourage tissue growth. Also when you’re at rest, your body is able to produce more white blood cells essential for attacking viruses and other bacteria.
Try to avoid activities or beverages that are over-stimulating before bed. Allowing your body to rest can help to reduce sinus pressure, speed your recovery time, and leave you feeling more refreshed. Check out some natural sleep aids if you need some added help.
Just as sleep is essential for healing, how you sleep can alleviate sinus symptoms. Lying flat can increase mucus buildup in your nasal passages, increase your sinus pressure, and disrupt your sleep cycle.
Prop your head up with pillows at night to keep your head above your heart. This sleeping position will prevent sinus buildup and can help you to breathe more comfortably.
Dehydration can contribute to your sinus passages drying out and increased pressure in your face. Increase your water intake throughout the day if you’re feeling under the weather. Fluids will reduce blockages in your sinuses.
While water may be your first choice to remain hydrated, you can also retain fluids through other foods and beverages including:
- broth soups
- ice cubes
- water-based vegetables and fruits
6. Relaxation techniques
Your sinus pressure may cause you to feel tension in your head, face, and neck. Biofeedback therapy, an alternative treatment method that teaches you how to control your bodily functions, can relieve this pressure.
This method has had proven success in relieving headaches, incorporating deep breathing exercises and meditation to achieve relaxation and reduce pain. Yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help to reduce pain and pressure from sinus infections.
Similar to yoga, exercise can reduce sinus pressure. Physical activity can increase blood circulation and temporarily relieve congestion to ease breathing. Although uncomfortable to perform while being sick, physical activity can help to improve your recovery time and speed healing.
A cold makes it hard to breathe. When your sinuses get blocked, you might hurt too, especially around your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nose. The pain might get worse when you touch your face or hold your head down.
You don’t need a doctor to deal with sinus pain caused by colds. It tends to get better along with your other cold symptoms. Sometimes, though, bacteria in blocked sinuses can lead to an infection known as bacterial sinusitis. Sinusitis from a bacterial infection might cause pain longer than the week of a typical cold. Your doctor may give you antibiotics and other medications to help you feel better.
Whether your sinus pain is caused by a cold or a bacterial infection, here’s how you can relieve it:
- Try a saline nose spray. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to suggest a plain saline spray. Saline mist will ease sinus swelling and help break up the mucus that’s clogging your nose. You can use it up to six times a day without worrying about side effects. You can also make your own saline nasal spray. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how, and be sure that the water you use is distilled or has been boiled, not straight from a tap.
- Use a humidifier. Stuffy sinuses respond well to moist air. Using a humidifier, especially when you sleep at night, will help keep your sinuses open and relieve the pressure. You can also try sitting in a steamy bathroom after a hot shower or inhaling the steam from a pan of hot (not boiling) water for faster relief.
- Apply a warm compress. Ease swelling and throbbing with a warm, wet washcloth across your forehead, eyes, and cheeks.
- Use an over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant nose spray. These ease congestion and provide relief, especially early in a cold. You can get them as a nasal spray, liquid, or pill. If you use a decongestant nasal spray, don’t use it for more than 3 days. If you use it for longer, it can make your stuffiness worse, not better.
- Take OTC pain relievers. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen can relieve sinus pain. But never give a child or teenager aspirin for pain. It can be dangerous.
If you have sinus pain from a cold that isn’t better after 10 days, talk to your doctor. You may need an antibiotic or a different treatment.