How to Relieve Sinus Pressure

Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, MD on December 1, 2017Written by Kiara Anthony

Sinus pressure

Many people experience sinus pressure from seasonal allergies or the common cold. Sinus pressure results from blocked nasal passages. When your sinuses cannot drain, you may experience inflammation and pain in your head, nose, and face.

Your sinuses are paired in two, and are found in four main areas of the face:

  • frontal, in your forehead
  • ethmoid, between your eyes and across your nose
  • maxillary, in your cheeks
  • sphenoid, behind your eyes and along the back of your head

7 home remedies for sinus pressure

While some over-the-counter treatments can help reduce symptoms, there are also many effective natural remedies.

1. Steam

Dry air and dry sinuses can increase sinus pressure and cause headaches and throbbing pain. Steam adds moisture to the air, helps to moisten your sinus passages, and thins out mucus that may have thickened over time.

Take a hot shower and breathe in the steam to reduce pressure. You can also use a humidifier for more long-term relief.

For an extra boost, add eucalyptus oil to your bath to speed your recovery. Eucalyptus contains cineole, an ingredient known to speed healing of acute sinusitis. The oil also may help to reduce nasal stuffiness and clear your pathways.

2. Saline flush

A common treatment for sinus pressure and congestion is a saline wash. Saline spray contains salt that helps to increase moisture in your nose and reduce sinus pressure. You can buy saline spray in drugstores, or you can make your own with baking soda, distilled water, and iodine-free salt.

3. Resting

A good night’s sleep can help the body to heal. Sleep stimulates your brain to release hormones that encourage tissue growth. Also when you’re at rest, your body is able to produce more white blood cells essential for attacking viruses and other bacteria.

Try to avoid activities or beverages that are over-stimulating before bed. Allowing your body to rest can help to reduce sinus pressure, speed your recovery time, and leave you feeling more refreshed. Check out some natural sleep aids if you need some added help.

4. Elevation

Just as sleep is essential for healing, how you sleep can alleviate sinus symptoms. Lying flat can increase mucus buildup in your nasal passages, increase your sinus pressure, and disrupt your sleep cycle.

Prop your head up with pillows at night to keep your head above your heart. This sleeping position will prevent sinus buildup and can help you to breathe more comfortably.

5. Hydration

Dehydration can contribute to your sinus passages drying out and increased pressure in your face. Increase your water intake throughout the day if you’re feeling under the weather. Fluids will reduce blockages in your sinuses.

While water may be your first choice to remain hydrated, you can also retain fluids through other foods and beverages including:

6. Relaxation techniques

Your sinus pressure may cause you to feel tension in your head, face, and neck. Biofeedback therapy, an alternative treatment method that teaches you how to control your bodily functions, can relieve this pressure.

This method has had proven success in relieving headaches, incorporating deep breathing exercises and meditation to achieve relaxation and reduce pain. Yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help to reduce pain and pressure from sinus infections.

7. Exercise

Similar to yoga, exercise can reduce sinus pressure. Physical activity can increase blood circulation and temporarily relieve congestion to ease breathing. Although uncomfortable to perform while being sick, physical activity can help to improve your recovery time and speed healing.

Outlook

Sinus pressure symptoms can be painful and uncomfortable. In addition to using traditional treatment methods like decongestants and pain relievers, alternative home remedies can also boost your recovery.

If you continue to experience sinus pressure symptoms after a week, or if they begin to worsen, seek medical attention. This could be a sign of a more serious infection that may require prescribed antibiotics.

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