Why Sinus Pressure Without Congestion Is Unique
It seems like everyone can remember at least one morning where they wake up and just dont feel good. The pressure in their nose paired with the struggle to breathe properly is something we have all experienced at some point.
This issue is known as congestion, and it is that feeling you have when your nose feels blocked. In most cases, you will also experience sinus pressure when you deal with congestion.
Sinus pressure and congestion go hand in hand as congestion is caused by the nasal cavities in your head getting backed up. When these cavities fill up, your sinuses feel the pressure of the added fluid and tend to feel uncomfortable. This is why so often you will see people dealing with both sinus pressure and headaches at the same time.
Just because these two symptoms go hand in hand does not mean that they cant exist in isolation. As we will see, there are many causes of sinus pressure and dizziness that often dont come with added congestion.
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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Where Are Your Sinusesand What Is Sinus Pressure
When it comes to sinus pressure, its 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 , when irritants invade your sinuses , or when you have an anatomical issue .
Unfortunately, you cant cater your sinus pain treatments to whats causing itbut the good news is that most available remedies can work to reduce inflammation and swelling in your sinuses regardless of whats causing it. Heres a guide, according to doctors, on the best ways to treat sinus pain so you can start feeling better ASAP.
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Look Into Nasal Sprays
Store-bought saline nasal spray loosens up mucus, temporarily clearing it from your nasal passages. But, be wary of decongestant nasal sprays, like oxymetazoline. Using them for longer than three days could cause rebound symptoms persistent stuffiness eased only by the spray itself. Dryness and addiction are also possibilities.
When Should You Talk To An Ent About A Sinus Infection
You should schedule a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat doctor if you are experiencing these sinus infection symptoms:
- An infection that lasts longer than 10 days
- Chronic, recurring sinus infections
- Sinus pain and pressure that is disrupting your daily activities
- At-home remedies dont work to relieve your symptoms
- Increase in pain
Family doctors or primary care physicians can help with basic sinus infection treatment by prescribing antibiotics and prescription-strength decongestants. But recurring sinus infections or chronic issues should be addressed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist also known as an otolaryngologist. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might need a referral from your primary care physician before visiting an ENT.
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How Do I Know If My Headache Is Migraine Or Sinus Headache
So, how do you know if your headache is migraine and not sinus? Go beyond the nasal and sinus congestion and the facial pain and pressure look for a headache associated with the inability to function normally at work, school, home or social functions, nausea, sensitivity to light and triggers such as weather change, menstrual cycle, and stress . Significantly, it is commonly thought that weather change often causes sinus headache when weather change is a common trigger for migraine.
You can also ask yourself the following questions from the ID Migraine Questionnaire developed by Dr. Richard Lipton of Albert Einstein College of Medicine:
- In the past three months, how disabling are your headaches? Do they interfere with your ability to function?
- Do you ever feel nausea when you have a headache?
- Do you become sensitive to light while you have a headache?
If you answer yes to two of the above three criteria, migraine is likely 93% of the time. If you answer yes to all three, a migraine diagnosis is 98% likely.
The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.
How To Do A Nasal Rinse
Nasal saline rinses are a good way to treat discomfort and congestion. They can help flush out mucus, debris, and irritants, and soothe nasal passages.
A neti pot can be used to do this. You fill a pot with a saline rinse that you can buy.
- Place the spout of the pot against one nostril.
- Tilt your head to the side.
- The saline will pour out of the lower nostrilthanks to gravity.
- Repeat steps with the other nostril.
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How You Can Find Relief
Its important to review your sinusitis symptoms and how long youve been having them with a physician. Teladoc doctors can help you determine the possible cause of your symptoms, especially if youre concerned you may have COVID-19. If your sinus problems are caused by allergies, there are strategies and medications that can help bring relief. While bothersome mucus is often an effect of a viral infection, a bacterial infection can develop after a virus has taken hold. In this case, oral antibiotics can help with healing.
Regardless of whats causing all this congestion, try to put the to-do list aside and get some rest. If youre having pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Petroleum jelly can soothe a sore nose on the outside, while nasal drops or a nasal irrigation device can help flush out nasal passages on the inside. Treat and blow each nostril separately, Dr. Hood says.
Also, dont forget about all that mucus youre losing: Moisture should play a key role in your return to good health. Drink plenty of liquids like water, juice, warm broth or soup, Dr. Hood says, and use a cool-mist humidifier to soothe the airways, especially when sleeping. Steam from hot showers can help reduce inflammation and make breathing easier. Also try a warm compress on the nose, cheekbones or forehead for relief from sinusitis symptoms, he adds.
Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and you’re very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
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Sinus Massage Techniques That Reduce Congestion
The paranasal sinuses are small, air-filled spaces in your skull. They help filter and moisten the air you breathe and lighten the weight of the skull. The paranasal sinuses also help produce the sound of your voice and provide support for your face and eyes.
Whenever youre sick, the sinuses become obstructed with mucus. This blockage causes congestion and can lead to intense pressure and headaches. While there are nasal sprays and medications to treat symptoms, some simple massage techniques at home can provide you with relief.
How Do I Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
To get rid of a sinus headache, you have to treat the underlying cause. But you can take steps to ease sinus pressure and pain at home:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
- Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
- Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
- Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.
Viruses, bacteria and sometimes fungi cause sinus infections. Viral infections often go away on their own. But if your infection is bacterial or fungal, you need antibiotics or antifungal medications. Your healthcare provider may also recommend other medications to ease discomfort, such as:
- Antihistamines to prevent allergy symptoms.
- Pain relievers to ease headache pain.
- Steroids to reduce inflammation.
Migraines with sinus symptoms
Sinus headaches that are actually migraines need a different type of treatment. The first step is to relieve your pain. You should know that frequently using over-the-counter medications when you have a headache can cause even more headaches .
Your provider may recommend prescription medication for migraine pain. You may also need a preventive medication that helps you have fewer migraine attacks.
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How Do You Know If Youre Experiencing Sinus Pressure
Before we get into the weeds of answering the question, Can you have sinus pressure but no congestion? its important that we review the basics of sinus pressure.
A sinus headache is a symptom of built-up pressure in the sinus cavities typically causing maxillary sinus pain. This buildup occurs when your nasal passages mucus can no longer drain properly. In other words, sinus pressure and the sinus sinus headaches it causes are linked to congestion.Since pressure buildup can get intense, many people have confused sinus pressure for a migraine and vice versa. However, sinus pressure is typically accompanied with other symptoms and frequently occurs in tandem with certain conditions.
If youre experiencing any of the following situations, you may be feeling the effects of sinus pressure instead of a migriane:
- You are feeling throbbing around your eyes, forehead, and nose. You may also be feeling this throbbing in your cheeks, jaw, ears, teeth, or back of the head.
- You are currently suffering from allergies or have a sinus infection.
- You have thick mucus.
- You feel the majority of the pain in the morning.
Keep in mind that if you do have sinus pressure, this doesnt necessarily mean you have a sinus infection. Everyday, non-serious issues, including allergies and the common cold can lead to sinus pressure and sinus headaches.
Care Advice For Sinus Congestion
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Sinus Pressure Causes And Reasons
There are various causes of sinus pressure. A few factors can cause irritation of your nasal passages and bring about symptoms of sinus pressure. Some sinus pressure causes and reasons include:
Sinusitis. Usually referred to as a sinus infection, sinusitis can cause pressure and pain in your sinuses. You should discuss treatment options with your doctor if you suspect youâre dealing with sinusitis . Sinus infection, referred to as sinusitis, is a common health issue, impacting 31 million Americans.
Environmental irritants. Airborne pollutants like irritants that cause allergies could trigger sinus pressure and mucus build-up.
The common cold. All colds arenât the same, but in some cases, they can cause the symptom mucus build-up and this means sinus pressure.
Sinus Pain Home Remedies
There are a variety of home remedies that can help with the congestion to relieve sinus pain and pressure. Home remedies that you can try include:
- Drinking water: Staying hydrated can help to thin nasal secretions. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important in your recovery from viral illnesses.
- Neti pot: A neti pot is used to irrigate the nasal passageways and can help to control congestion and nasal secretions.
- Saline nasal sprays:Saline nasal sprays are sold over-the-counter at most drug stores. They are used to loosen nasal secretions and thereby decrease congestion by allowing it to drain. They can be used many times per day.
- Cool mist humidifier: The humidity loosens nasal secretions and the cold air can help to decrease inflammation. If you do not have access to a cool-mist humidifier, several hot, steamy showers per day can also help to loosen nasal secretions.
- Warm compress: Use a warm rag or heating pad over your sinuses to ease the pain. Do this several times per day.
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How Can I Get Immediate Relief From Sinus Pain: 10 Sinus Pain Home Remedies To Try
Doing one or more of the things below can provide some temporary relief, but dont use it as a substitute for seeing a doctor, especially if its a recurring problem. Things like bacterial sinus infections can get worse over time if not treated with the proper medication.
Sinus Headache Or Migraine
About 80% of “sinus headaches” are actually migraines with nasal symptoms. If you get frequent headaches, consult your healthcare provider or a headache specialist, since there are medications and prevention strategies specifically for migraines.
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Antibiotics For A Severe Sinus Infection
You may be surprised that antibiotics are not listed as the first step in treatment. While many patients with sinusitis expect antibiotics, they arenât usually needed if good drainage is achieved.
Antibiotics have potential disadvantages. They can trigger allergic reactions or cause side effects. Widespread use of antibiotics has encouraged the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria . And many of these drugs are expensive.
Still, if your sinusitis does not improve with two to four days of drainage therapy, or if itâs very severe to begin with, it probably needs an antibiotic to help get rid of the trapped bacteria. Antibiotic therapy for just three to seven days is generally as effective as traditional 10- to 14-day treatment for uncomplicated acute sinusitis.
Many bacteria can cause acute sinusitis the most common include some with fearsome names like Pneumococcus, Streptococcus, Hemophilus, and Moraxella. Unless you have a sinus puncture , thereâs really no way to know which bacteria are causing your sinusitis. Cultures of your mucus or your nose, even if they are obtained through a nasal speculum, are not helpful because they are always contaminated by the many bacteria that live in every nose.
What Is The Long
Sinus infections are primarily caused by allergies. The most common allergens are pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Those with repeated sinus infections may have chronic sinusitis, which means long-term solutions may be a better option.
Immunotherapy can help. These allergy shots enable your body to decrease sensitivity to common allergens. The Raleigh sinus doctors at Raleigh Medical Group specialize in helping patients with chronic allergy and sinus problems. While immunotherapy is effective, the treatment can take as long as one year to achieve noticeable results and maintenance treatment will likely be needed.
To find out if youre a candidate for immunotherapy, schedule an appointment with one of our internal medicine doctors. We welcome the opportunity to serve you.
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