Can You Have Sinus Pressure But No Congestion
Can you have sinus pressure but no congestion? And if you can, does this mean you have a sinus infection that requires special treatment? If not, exactly what can mimic a sinus infection?
Unfortunately, the answers to this slippery slope of questions arent always so cut and dry. In particular, with a headache like this, theres a chance that its not a sinus headache, but a migraine. The treatment and causes of a migraine and sinus pressure are very different, but the symptoms can overlap significantly. These overlapping symptoms can lead to confusion and leave people at a loss for which types of treatment to pursue.
If youre feeling sinus pressure without the typical influx of mucus, heres what you need to know.
Make The Sinus Pain And Mind
Techniques that take advantage of the mind-body connection, such as deep breathing practices and relaxation exercises, can be very effective for relieving sinus pain, notes Das. These practices rely on the minds ability to influence pain perception and are especially helpful with chronic or recurrent pain that is often seen with sinus pressure. Some examples include biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and hypnotherapy.
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Everyone Should Have Their Blood Pressure Checked
Because high blood pressure can exist silently for many years, it is important that everyone have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently endorses routine blood pressure screening for all adults over the age of 18.
If youve never had your blood pressure checked, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider or visit a local walk-in clinic or pharmacy .
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Eye Symptoms Linked To Sinusitis
In addition to eye pain or sinus pain behind the eyes, there are other eye symptoms that may be caused by sinusitis or other sinus issues. These may include:
Sinus pressure and eye watering In some cases, a chronic sinus infection can lead to watery eyes . But these symptoms may also be caused by many other conditions. For example, a cold or allergies may cause eye watering and a feeling of stuffiness or pressure. And a cluster headache can similarly cause pressure, watery eyes and stuffy nose.
Sinus pressure and swollen eyes A sinus infection can also lead to eyelid swelling and eye puffiness. This can occur when the sinuses between and below your eyes may become inflamed and clogged with mucus. The swelling typically goes away as your sinusitis improves with treatment.
Sinus problems such as chronic sinusitis can also cause blurry vision, vision loss and other problems due to optic nerve damage caused by chronic inflammation, although this is rare.
In some cases, eye symptoms can be a sign of a sinus infection spreading to the eye, or other serious sinus infection complications.
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What Is Sinus Headache
A true sinus headache, called rhinosinusitis, is rare. The cause is a viral or bacterial sinus infection characterized by thick, discolored nasal discharge. Youll get symptoms like possibly weaker smell or no smell, facial pain or pressure and commonly, fever. Facial pain and headache should resolve within seven days after viral symptoms improve or after successful treatment with antibiotics . If pain continues, then your diagnosis should be reconsidered.
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Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Some sinus infection and COVID-19 symptoms may overlap. Both illnesses can cause a fever, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue or a sore throat. Symptoms unique to COVID-19 include body aches, nausea, shortness of breath and vomiting. Learn the difference between the cold, flu and COVID-19 based on your symptoms.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
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Causes Of Sinus Congestion
- Viral Sinus Infection. Part of the common cold. A cold infects the lining of the nose. It also involves the lining of all the sinuses.
- Bacterial Sinus Infection. A problem when the sinus becomes infected with bacteria. . It starts as a viral sinus infection. Main symptoms are increased sinus pain or return of fever. The skin around the eyelids or cheeks may become red or swollen. Thick nasal secretions that last over 14 days may point to a sinus infection. This can occur in younger children.
- Allergic Sinus Reaction. Sinus congestion often occurs with nasal allergies . Sneezing, itchy nose and clear nasal discharge point to this cause.
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Whats The Connection Between Sinus Infection And Toothache
Toothache or tooth pain from a sinus infection is actually fairly common. Your sinuses are air-filled pockets in the face there are four pairs, located near your eyes, forehead, and behind the cheekbones. When theyre working properly, their primary function is to produce mucus, which moistens the nose, protecting it from irritants and germs. When the sinuses become blocked, trapped germs can lead to infection.
Once infected, the blocked sinuses may swell and cause pressure in the face. A sinus infection can cause toothache because the swelling and build-up of mucus inside the sinuses may put pressure on nerves running to the roots of the teeth.
There are four pairs of what are called paranasal sinuses, or sinuses around the nose. They are the:
- Maxillary sinuses: located in the cheek,
- Ethmoid sinuses: located between the eyes, on each side of the nose,
- Frontal sinuses: located on either side of the forehead, and
- Sphenoid sinuses: located behind the ethmoid sinuses.
Generally, tooth pain associated with sinus infection is felt only in the top, rear teeth because the roots of these teeth and jawbone are closest to the maxillary sinuses. Although it can feel like a toothache, it is actually what doctors call referred pain, as the cause is not in the teeth themselves, but comes from the sinus pressure.
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Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
Care Advice For Sinus Congestion
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Allergies And Sinus Headaches
Ever heard that allergies cause sinus headaches? Itâs not quite that simple.
Allergies can cause sinus congestion, which can make your head hurt. Treatment for your allergies can ease that congestion, but it wonât relieve your headache pain. You usually have to treat the two conditions separately. See your doctor to make sure you get the right help.
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
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What Are The Different Types Of Sinuses Near The Nose And Eyes
The paranasal sinuses are located in your head near your nose and eyes. They are named after the bones that provide their structure.
- The ethmoidal sinuses are located between your eyes.
- The maxillary sinuses are located below your eyes.
- The sphenoidal sinuses are located behind your eyes.
- The frontal sinuses are located above your eyes.
The biggest sinus cavity is the maxillary cavity, and it is one of the cavities that most often becomes infected.
There are different types of sinusitis:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: This term refers to a sudden onset of cold symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and facial pain that does not go away after 10 days, or symptoms that seem to improve but then return and are worse than the initial symptoms . It responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.
- Chronic sinusitis: This term refers to a condition defined by nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and decreased sense of smell for at least 12 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms last four to twelve weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms come back four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to acetaminophen or phenylephrine.
Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
if you take an anti-depressant.
It is not known whether Tylenol Sinus Congestion and Pain will harm an unborn baby. Do not use cough or cold medicine without a doctors advice if you are pregnant.
Acetaminophen and phenylephrine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. may also slow breast milk production. Do not use cough or cold medicine without a doctors advice if you are pregnant.
Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.
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When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
Seasonal Allergies And Hay Fever
Seasonal allergies can even become the primary cause of sinus inflammation. Allergies can cause blockage of drainage containing the regular sinus aspect and also predispose any person to the development of sinus infections.
Any person can experience sinus irritation or congestion during the hay fever season. The pollen count can jump even high during the season, and the exposure to allergens is even high, like the mould or animal dander.
It is necessary to see the doctor for treatments to alleviate symptoms.
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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.
Sinus Infection And Blurry Vision
Sinus infections can cause more than just pain in the area of the eyes. In fact, sinus infections can cause problems even if you dont feel pain.
Sinus pressure can impact blood circulation to the eyes. Disruption in blood circulation to the eyes causes sudden, patchy blurred vision. A warm compress across the forehead can ease pressure and reduce the swelling. This restores proper circulation of blood to the eyes and the blurry vision is cleared.
Sudden blurry vision can be a symptom of a serious condition and your doctor should always be consulted. It is extremely unlikely but a sinus infection could actually spread into the eye socket, causing an infection that could cause blindness. Dont risk it. See your doctor.
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Your Sinus Headache May Not Be What You Think
Nearly everyone experiences a headache at some point, and the pain can range from mild to debilitating.
Sometimes, headaches are accompanied by pain and pressure in your brow and forehead, and cause nasal symptoms. Many people associate sinus and nasal symptoms with a sinus infection, also called sinusitis, or with an upper respiratory infection, a cold. They may say that they are experiencing a sinus headache. But sinus and nasal symptoms often can signal something else: a migraine headache.
The term “sinus headache” is not an actual medical diagnosis. Studies show that 90% of people with symptoms of a sinus headache are experiencing migraine headaches.
Sinusitis or migraine?
Migraines and headaches from sinusitis are easy to confuse because the signs and symptoms of the two types of headaches may overlap. Also, migraine headaches affect people differently and symptoms can change over time. This is why many who have had migraine headaches in the past are surprised when they begin having sinus and nasal symptoms with a migraine headache.
Sinusitis, however, usually isn’t associated with nausea or vomiting, nor is it aggravated by noise or bright light all common features of migraines.
These are a few ways you can tell whether your sinus and nasal symptoms are part of a sinus infection or part of a migraine headache:
- Confusion or trouble understanding speech