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Sinus Pain

Sinus Pain: Sinus headaches, sinusitis or sinus infections are caused by swollen membranes which block the passages into the sinus cavities. This condition, which can be chronic, prevents air and mucus from flowing freely, creating abnormal pressure inside these cavities. The end result is a pressure-pain in the forehead or face, between and behind the eyes, or in the cheeks and upper teeth, depending on which sinuses are involved. Under normal conditions, sinus cavities produce mucus that passes into the nose and washes away dust particles, bacteria, and other naturally occurring pollutants. The mucus then flows into the throat, swallowed and disposed of in stomach acid. This is a natural bodily function. But after a prolonged cold or allergy attack, membranes swell, mucus increases and bacteria builds up, causing severe pain that can last for extended periods of time.

Sinus Pain Treatment: Those suffering from sinus pain should see a doctor. While most often treatable with antibiotics, severe cases can require further treatment. Surgery may be required to treat chronic sinusitis.

Pain and Infection Prevention: Sinus infections can happen to everyone, but some may be more susceptible, especially those with allergies, those with a broken nose or deviated septum that can impair breathing and proper drainage, those often exposed to infection such as school teachers and health workers, and smokers. Whether or not you fall into one or more of these categories, there are certain steps you can take to prevent or alleviate sinus problems:

Visit an allergy specialist to determine the cause of your allergies. The most common are pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander. Avoiding these allergens as much as possible and protecting yourself indoors with an air purifier, or outdoors with a face mask, will reduce both allergy and sinus symptoms. Low humidity makes mucus thicker and more likely to block sinus openings. Using a humidifier will help. Nasal irrigation helps reduce congestion and loosen mucus.

Avoid those with infections, wash your hands regularly, and avoid sharing towels, napkins, and eating utensils. An overall healthy diet and regular exercise will also go a long way toward boosting your resistance to infection.

Page last modified: 10/24/14
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