If you suffer from constant sinus pressure, then you know how debilitating it can be. Sinus pressure can turn a good day completely miserable.
Our clients often do not understand sinus pressure or why it appears, but your sinuses can be trying to tell you something. The key to getting better faster is to listen!
What Are Sinuses?
Researchers are actually unsure why we have sinuses. They theorize that it is to keep the head from being too heavy. The sinuses also affect the tone and depth in your voice.
The sinuses are lined with mucus, which helps keep your nose moist. Having this moisture helps protect you against allergens, pollutants, and dust irrigation.
Sinuses are air-filled spaces that are located in the bones of both the head and face. The sinuses actually continue to grow until you are about age 20.
There are four pairs of sinuses (eight total). They are on either side of your nose, behind and between the eyes, at the back of the nasal cavity, and in the forehead. When you feel sinus pressure, you often have pain in the forehead, eyes, and face.
What Causes Sinus Pressure?
Sinus pressure can be caused by any number of factors. Sinus problems are generally referred to as “sinusitis.” This condition involves having inflamed or swollen tissue that surrounds the sinuses.
The normally air-filled sinuses becoming blocked and fill with fluid, bacteria, or viruses. They can even be home to fungi.
These germs and fluid can combine and ultimately cause a sinus infection in more serious cases.
The pressure that you feel is usually due to this filling and inflammation of the sinuses. There are several reasons that this could occur:
- The common cold. When you have a cold, you will sometimes produce extra mucus, which can ultimately get trapped in the sinuses, causing pain and pressure. Colds may not cause sinus infections, but they are more likely to be seen together because of all of the extra bacteria that could become trapped in the sinuses when you have a cold.
- Allergic rhinitis. Swelling in the lining of the nose can also cause sinus blockage. This type of swelling is usually caused by seasonal allergies like pollen and dust mites. In fact, allergies are one of the main reasons that you may get sinus infections on a repeated basis.
- Nasal polyps and structural differences. Having polyps develop can definitely increase your risk for sinus pressure. Polyps and structural differences, like having a deviated septum or narrow drainage ducts, decrease the amount of total space in the sinuses. This increases the likelihood of the sinuses filling up.
When to See a Doctor
If you suspect that you have serious sinus problems, like an infection, or have nearly continuous sinus pressure, you may want to see a doctor. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor can help you determine the cause of your sinus pressure and recommend the best ways to combat it.