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Sinus Pressure Symptoms

Sinus Pressure Symptoms

Sinus pressure, as the name suggests, refers to pressure that builds up within the sinuses. This HealthHearty article provides information on the symptoms associated with sinus pressure.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Sinuses are air-filled cavities that are located within the bones of the skull. These air-filled cavities are lined by a mucous membrane. It is believed that sinuses moisten the air that we breathe. Inflammation of one or more sinuses could give rise to a host of symptoms. The mucus that is produced by the sinuses is drained through the nose. If the sinuses become inflamed, the sinuses cannot drain, which in turn would give rise to sinus pressure.
Causes of Sinus Pressure

The openings through which sinuses are connected to the nasal cavity are called ostia. Due to inflammation, ostia become blocked with mucus. This blocked mucus serves as a breeding environment for various types of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms. Infections such as cold and flu could also cause swelling of sinuses. Exposure to allergens such as mold, pollen, and pollutants also cause a sinus infection. If air is trapped along with the mucus, it exerts a lot of pressure, thereby causing pain.

Symptoms would vary, depending on the underlying cause and also the overall health of the affected individual. Most of the symptoms are similar to that of common cold. However, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks. Pain and pressure is experienced in the region of the affected sinus. Other symptoms depend upon the sinuses that are affected. Four pairs of sinuses are located within the bones of the skull. These are called maxillary sinuses (present in the cheekbones), frontal sinuses (present in the forehead), ethmoid sinuses (present between the eyes, at the nasal bridge), and sphenoid sinuses (present in bones behind the nasal cavity).
Maxillary Sinuses
When the maxillary sinuses are affected, it results in pain in the upper jaw (maxilla) and teeth. Moreover, cheeks become tender and hurt upon touching.
Frontal Sinuses
Frontal sinuses are located in the forehead region. When these sinuses get blocked, pain is experienced in the forehead. It might get aggravated on touching the forehead. Also, eyes become sensitive to light.
Sphenoid Sinuses
Although rare, blockage of sphenoid sinuses can cause ear aches and neck pain. Sometimes, these symptoms may be accompanied by deep pain inside the head.
Ethmoid Sinuses
Ethmoid sinuses are located in between the eyes, near the tear glands. Inflammation of ethmoid sinuses could give rise to symptoms such as swelling of eyelids, pain in eyes, and loss of smell.
Common Symptoms

➠ Congested feeling and pressure in the region of the affected sinus
➠ Symptoms of cold that do not go away easily
➠ Persistent cold and cough
➠ Headache upon waking in the morning
➠ Low fever between 99°F and 100°F
➠ Weakness or fatigue
➠ Bouts of coughing mostly at night
➠ Runny nose (rhinitis)
➠ Nasal congestion
➠ Halitosis
➠ Swollen eyelids
➠ Post nasal drip
➠ Blocked or stuffy nose
➠ Facial pain or swelling
➠ Persistent headaches with mild fever
➠ Hoarseness of voice
➠ A reduced sense of smell
➠ Fullness in the ears
Severe Symptoms

➠ Respiratory problems
➠ Asthma-like symptoms
➠ Vomiting
➠ Pus in the nasal cavities
Smoking, dental jobs such as root canal or tooth extraction, deviated septum, nasal bone spur, water sports, etc., could put one at a risk of developing sinusitis. Also, diseases such as GERD, cystic fibrosis, Kartagener's syndrome, or immotile cilia syndrome are other risk factors. People with a weakened immune system are also susceptible.
The use of nasal sprays, inhalers, steam inhalation, etc., could help provide relief. Also, keeping the head elevated would also prove beneficial. However, it's advisable to seek medical assistance, if the symptoms are severe.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.