Sinus Pressure (and How to Relieve It)
What causes it?
The sinuses in the face are air-filled spaces within the facial bones that are connected to the nasal passages. The sinuses help to humidify the air we breath in and to produces mucous that helps trap bacteria and other environmental particles and pollutants. When the nasal passages get overwhelmed, the tissues can become irritated, and mucous formation overcomes the ability for the mucous to be cleared. This build up causes swelling and can lead to pockets of pressure within the sinuses. In addition, swollen and inflamed tissues on their own can activate the nerves in the sinuses which leads to dull throbbing aches and pain.
Environmental irritants that can lead to sinus pressure
- Pollen (seasonal allergies)
- Dust (and dust mites)
- Smog (fuel exhaust)
- Mold (in the home or work environment)
- Wildfire smoke
- Work-related particles (carpentry, construction, auto mechanics, etc)
Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, can result from over burden of these environmental particles, and can lead to sinus pressure and pain
Viral infections, like the common cold, can also inflame the sinuses, causing pain and pressure
Sinus pain can be localized in one of four areas of the face
- Frontal – the forehead, above the eyebrows, centered around the third eye
- Ethmoid – between the eyes, and the top of the nose, between the eyebrows
- Maxillary – cheeks, from below the eyes to the sides of the mouth, centered around the cheek bones
- Sphenoid – deep sinus behind the eyes, and extends to the top of the scalp or along the back of the head
Best ways to clear the sinuses
- Try using a Neti pot, kits can be purchase at the pharmacy, uses a saline solution poured through the nasal passages to break up mucous and encourage drainage
- Ice packs or cold compresses can help relieve the pain
- Try diffusing essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, wintergreen, cardamom, any one that is camphorous or has a menthol coolness
- You can also boil water, pour it into a bowl, and drop the essential oils in, then cover your head over the bowl with a towel to inhale higher quantities of the essential oil
- Massage of the face, neck, and shoulders can relieve stress and relieve pressure buildup in the sinuses.
- Try taking intranasal colloidal silver to help clear any infectious agents from the sinuses.
- Spend some time in a sauna or steam room
- Supplement with an enzyme supplement to clear up mucous (serrapeptidase, bromelain, or other broad spectrum enzyme etc)
- Supplement with quercitin for its anti-histamine effects
- Drink plenty of water