During a sinus infection or allergies, the sinus
passages may become inflamed or irritated. Due to this irritation,
the nasal passages can begin to narrow, causing obstruction in
the nasal passages. The obstruction of mucus and air can cause
of painful pressure in the sinus passage areas.
Causes of Sinus Pressure
A common cause of sinus pressure is a sinus infection, or sinusitis.
Sinusitis can be caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungi. The infection
source interacts with the nasal membranes and causes irritation.
This irritation can make the sinuses swell, resulting in the
blockage of air, mucus, and pus that causes pressure to build
up in the sinuses.
An allergic reaction can also lead to sinus irritation, swelling,
and sinus pressure. Allergies that can affect the sinuses include
allergies to mold, pollen, pet dander, dust, and air pollution.
They react similarly to a bacteria, virus, or fungi in the sinuses,
causing swelling and nasal obstruction.
Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
describes the process leading up to sinus pressure: “The
body’s nasal and sinus membranes have similar responses to
viruses, allergic insults, and common bacterial infections. Membranes
become swollen and congested. This congestion causes pain and pressure;
mucus production increases during inflammation, resulting in a
drippy, runny nose. These secretions may thicken over time, may
slow in their drainage, and may predispose to future bacterial
infections of the sinuses.”
Sinus Pressure Relief
While sinus pressure can be a painful affliction, relief can be
possible in many cases. The National Institutes of Health offers
some treatment options for relief of sinus pressure and pain
due to sinusitis and infections. Among many options, they suggest
decongestants to reduce nasal congestion, pain relievers to reduce
pressure-causing pain such as sinus headaches, inhaling vaporizer
steam to soothe inflamed sinus cavities, and saline nasal sprays.
If allergies are the cause of your sinus membrane irritation and
swelling, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
offer antihistamines as a way to prevent allergies before irritation
begins. Another way to reduce allergic response is to avoid the
substance a patient is allergic to or take extra precautions when
interacting with that substance.
Pressure from a sinus infection can be very painful and upsetting.
Recognizing possible triggers of sinus inflammation may help reduce
the risk of sinus congestion, the leading factor for sinus pressure.
It might be best to consult with a doctor if you feel you have
allergies that may be contributing to sinus pressure or a sinus
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