5 Ways To Relieve Sinus Pressure
An often overlooked symptom of sinus inflammation is sinus pressure. When congestion causes mucus to back up, the sinuses begin to swell. This swelling pushes against the surrounding tissue causing symptoms of pressure. This pressure presents as pain in the face in four different spots: pain in the forehead, nose, cheeks, or behind the eyes based on which sinus cavity is swelling. Luckily, you can manage pressure with a few simple techniques.
How to Relieve Sinus Pressure
You can reduce pressure by making it easier for mucus to flow. One of the easiest ways to do so is by moistening the sinuses. There are three easy ways to do this:
- Steam – The warm vapor reduces inflammation and moistens the sinuses, allowing mucus to flow. Start by boiling water and pouring it into a large bowl. Take a towel and drape it over the back of your head and around the bowl. Be aware of where the boiling water is so you don’t burn yourself. Place your head about a foot away from the water, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Do this for about five minutes at a time, up to three times in a day.
- Nasal Rinses – Nasal rinses, also called saline irrigation, more directly moisten the sinuses. Salt water thins mucus and rinses out any debris that may be causing inflammation. You can buy nasal rinses at the store. They include the rinse along with an irrigator. To use a nasal rinse, stand with your head over the sink, facing down. Then tilt your head to the side at about 45 degrees. Insert the irrigator into the higher nostril, avoiding touching the septum. Allow the liquid to flow while breathing through your mouth for a few seconds. Repeat in the other nostril. Sometimes the rinse has a powder that you have to mix yourself. Make sure to use distilled water to prevent dangerous nasal infections.
- Humidifier – A humidifier adds moisture to the air in a room. Humid air is easier for your lungs to take in and moistens the sinuses. Humidifiers work in different ways, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs. You typically want one in the room you use most often, but may need two or three. Like nasal rinses, distilled water prevents inhaling irritants from tap water. Humidifiers need cleaning to kill any possible bacteria.
- Sinus Massage – Since sinus pressure manifests in the face, a massage can help reduce some of the pain and help mucus move along the sinuses. The sinuses drain in the forehead, under the eyes, in the nose, and in the cheeks, so blockages will be noticeable here. You can usually feel a divot under the skin where the opening is located and massage there.
For forehead pain, you can massage the bottom of your eyebrows. Start where they meet the nose and work outwards. For nose and eye pain, massage the bridge of the nose. Start where the insides of your eyes meet the bridge of your nose and work downwards. Do both massages for 10 to 15 seconds.
The duct for the maxillary sinuses in the cheeks can be a bit harder to find. To find them, put your index fingers above the outsides of your lips. Then, move them up until they’re in line with your nostrils. You should feel a divot where your cheekbones meet your upper teeth. Once you’ve found the maxillary ducts, start massaging in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.
- Reducing Sinus Inflammation – Inflammation is the source of sinus pressure, so reducing it will prevent facial pain. Over the counter medications can manage inflammation and pain. Decongestants and nasal sprays help mucus flow and reduce swelling. If your symptoms seem to last more than eight weeks, you may have chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis treatment is best handled by a sinus specialist. They can help get a better understanding of the cause of your sinusitis, and write prescriptions or help provide lifestyle changes for relief. They can also discuss surgical options to reduce inflammation. If your sinus pressure is persistent, it’s time to talk to your doctor about solutions.
Schedule an appointment with the experts at Advanced Sinus Relief Centers today.