What causes sinus pressure and sinus headache?

Sinus pain happens when the blood vessels lining your nose and sinuses (the air-filled cavities around your nose, eyes, and cheeks) become inflamed. This can leave you feeling like there is pressure on your sinuses and can be painful too. The technical name for this condition is sinusitis.

What are the symptoms?

Sinusitis is associated with pain in the face, headache or aching teeth. The pain can intensify when you lean forward. The pain is often accompanied by other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, the feeling of fullness in the ears, fatigue, and facial swelling.

How to ease the symptoms?

Sinusitis usually gets better on its own after 1 to 2 weeks. You can help manage your symptoms by:

  • Keeping hydrated to help thin the mucus
  • Comfortable-to-the-touch hot compresses held against your face
  • Pain relief medication

Medications which contain ibuprofen (a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties) and phenylephrine (a decongestant) may help relieve sinus or nasal congestion, headache, aches and pains. These usually come in a tablet format, such as Nurofen Cold & Flu tablets.

Other medications that may help with nasal congestion include decongestant nasal sprays or drops, such as those containing oxymetazoline or xylometazoline as their active ingredient. Be aware that these are only for short term use and shouldn’t be used for longer than 7 days.

If you are ever in any doubt please speak to your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.