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Sinus Pressure: Causes and Treatments

Pain in the sinuses is common during a sinusitis episode. You have four sinus cavities. The first is the frontal sinus, located above the eyes, which is situated in the skull’s frontal bone. The second is the maxillary sinus, located below the eyes and under the cheekbones. The third sinus is the ethmoid sinus. You’ll find this sinus in the face’s ethmoid bone, which separates the eyes from the nose. The fourth sinus is the sphenoid sinus. You’ll find this sinus cavity at the base of your skull in the sphenoid bone.

The sinuses connect to the back of the nose, allowing mucus to drain from the body. When these ducts become inflamed, the sinuses cannot drain properly. The mucus that cannot get out of the sinuses lies inside them, causing a sensation of pressure. If the linings of your sinuses become infected due to the stagnant mucus, the inflammation causes the body to respond by producing more mucus and other fluids. This immune response leads to an increase in the volume of mucus in the sinuses, thereby increasing the pressure.

The only way to address sinus pressure is to treat the cause. Blockages and swelling of the sinus ducts should be treated to avoid the backlog of mucus that causes the pressure. Inflammation of the sinus linings requires intervention to avert the secretion of even more mucus, which exacerbates the pressure. In the interim, you can use painkillers for some temporary relief.

Sinus infections are generally treated with antibiotics prescribed by a medical doctor. The alternative is anti-inflammatories, which reduce the swelling in the sinuses. There are also over the counter (OTC) medicines, such as decongestants and nasal irrigation sprays, which can help to drain the mucus and reduce the pressure in the sinuses. However, if there is not an improvement within 7-10 days, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Left untreated, sinus infections can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as meningitis.