Relieve pressure in sinus

Contents

Treatments

Your doctor may suggest treating the pain and the underlying causes of your sinus headache at the same.

You might try:

Over-the-counter painkillers. Drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium may help. Always read and follow the label, and don’t use them for more than 10 days at a time without talking to your doctor.

Decongestants. These medicines, which you can buy without a prescription, help open your blocked sinus cavities. They do this by curbing the swelling and mucus in your nasal passages.

Follow the instructions carefully. You shouldn’t use nasal decongestant sprays for more than 3 days in a row, or it could make your congestion worse. And don’t use oral decongestants for more than 7 days. If you also take a pain medicine, make sure the decongestant doesn’t have it as well, so you don’t accidentally get too much.

Nasal steroid sprays. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe these sprays and other drugs to reduce your congestion and pain.

Antihistamines. These drugs may help if allergies cause your sinus problems.

Think moist. Dry air can irritate your sinuses, so use a humidifier or vaporizer. Other options include holding a warm, wet towel over your face for a few minutes or using a saline solution nasal spray.

Use salt water. Get a bulb syringe or neti pot and flush out your sinuses with salt water. It moistens and helps clear mucus from your nasal passages, which cuts down on the pressure.

Ten home remedies to relieve sinus pain and pressure

The pressure is building in your forehead, your nose is running, and you just don’t feel good. You suspect that you may have a sinus infection, or sinusitis. Most sinus infections will resolve themselves in seven to 10 days, just by taking care of yourself at home.

What to do for sinus pressure and pain at home

Here are the top 10 at-home treatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.

  1. Flush. Use a Neti pot, a therapy that uses a salt and water solution, to flush your nasal passages. Nasal irrigation using the Neti pot has been a tried-and-true sinus treatment method for centuries. I have patients who swear by Neti pots and use them daily or weekly to keep their sinuses flowing well. Remember to use distilled water only.
  2. Spray. Use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray that contains salt water to help keep your nasal passages moist, unblock congestion and treat inflammation. Some sprays, like Afrin®, can only be used for a maximum of three days. If you exceed three days, you will get “rebound” or worse nasal congestion. Other nasal sprays, like fluticasone, are more effective the longer you use them.
  3. Hydrate. Drink a lot of fluids—water and/or juice—to help thin your mucus. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can cause dehydration.
  4. Rest. Get plenty of rest to help your body fight infection and speed up recovery. While you sleep, prop yourself up with a couple of pillows. Staying elevated can help you breathe more comfortably.
  5. Steam. Breathe in steam from a pot or bowl of warm (not too hot!) water or take a hot shower. You also can place a warm, wet towel on your face, followed by a cool towel. to help ease sinus pain and open your nasal passages.
  6. Spice. Eat spicy foods to help clear your nasal passages. Add hot peppers, hot sauce, horseradish or wasabi to your meal.
  7. Add humidity. Use a humidifier or vaporizer in your room while you sleep to add moisture to the air and help reduce congestion. Dry air, tobacco smoke and chlorinated water can irritate the mucus membranes in your nose and create an environment ripe for sinus infection.
  8. OTC medication. Take over-the-counter decongestants, antihistamines (if allergies are the culprit) and pain relievers to reduce sinus pain and pressure. Be sure to check with your doctor first if you have any health issues or take other medicines. Never give decongestants or any over-the-counter cold medicine to children under age 4. Nasal suction is the best form of “decongesting” for young children. This also reduces post-nasal drip and overall lung irritation.
  9. C is key. Up your intake of vitamin C. This may help fight off sinus infection faster, reduce sinus inflammation and relieve the duration of a sinus infection or cold symptoms.
  10. Know your triggers. Know what can trigger a cold or sinus infection and be prepared. Start taking an antihistamine prior to allergy season or use a Neti pot right away at the onset of a cold.

When to see a doctor for sinus pain

If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment.

If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT, otolaryngologist) for your treatment options.

Why Does My Head Feel Like It’s in a Clamp or Underwater?

Pressure in the head has many potential causes. Tension headaches and sinus headaches are among the most common.

Tension headaches

What it feels like: Pain from tension headaches is generally mild to moderate in severity. Some people describe it as an elastic band squeezing their head.

What it is: Also known as tension-type headaches (TTH), tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They affect an estimated 42 percent of the global population. However, their causes aren’t well-understood.

Causes:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • poor posture

Sinus headaches and other sinus conditions

What it feels like: A constant pressure behind your forehead, cheekbones, nose, jaw, or ears. You might experience other symptoms, such as a stuffy nose.

What it is: Your sinuses are a series of connected cavities behind your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nose. When the sinuses become inflamed, they produce excess mucus, which can lead to head pressure. This is also known as a sinus headache.

Causes:

  • allergies
  • colds and flu
  • sinus infections (sinusitis)

Ear conditions

What it feels like: Dull but constant pressure in the temples, ears, jaw, or side of the head. Ear conditions can affect one or both sides of the head.

What it is: Ear infections and earwax blockages are common ear conditions that can cause head pressure with ear pain.

Causes:

  • ear barotrauma
  • ear infections
  • earwax blockage
  • labyrinthitis
  • ruptured eardrum
  • outer ear infection (swimmer’s ear)

Migraines

What it feels like: Migraine pain is usually described as pulsing or throbbing. It typically occurs on one side of the head, and it can be so intense that it’s disabling. Migraines are often accompanied by additional symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

What it is: Migraines are a common type of headache. They first appear in adolescence or early adulthood, and tend to reoccur. Migraines often include warning signs and progress through distinct stages.

Causes: The causes of migraines aren’t well-understood, although genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved.

Other headaches

What they feel like: Pressure, pulsing, or throbbing all over or in a specific area of the head. Some headaches are accompanied by eye pain.

What they are: Most people experience a headache at some point in their lives. There are hundreds of types of headaches, including cluster, caffeine, and rebound headaches.

Causes: Headaches are caused by a wide range of factors. Some are a medical condition, while others are a symptom of another condition.

Concussions and other head injuries

What it feels like: A sensation of mild pressure in your head or a headache. Related symptoms include confusion, nausea, and dizziness.

What it is: A concussion is a mild head injury. It occurs when the brain shakes, bounces, or twists inside the skull, which can affect brain activity and damage brain cells.

Causes: Concussions and other head injuries are caused by sudden impact to the head or whiplash. Falls, car accidents, and sports injuries are common.

Brain tumor

What it feels like: Pressure or heaviness in the head or neck. Brain tumors can cause severe headaches and are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as memory problems, vision problems, or difficulty walking.

What it is: A brain tumor occurs when cells grow and multiply to form an abnormal mass in the brain. Brain tumors are rare.

Causes: Brain tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). They can originate in the brain (primary tumors) or grow from cancer cells that have travelled from elsewhere in the body (secondary tumors).

Brain aneurysm

What it feels like: Severe head pain that comes on suddenly. People who’ve had aneurysms describe it as “the worst headache of their life.”

What it is: A brain aneurysm is a bulging or ballooning blood vessel. Excess pressure can cause the bulge to rupture and bleed into the brain.

Causes: The causes of brain aneurysms aren’t well-understood. Risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking cigarettes, and age.

Other conditions

A number of other conditions can cause head pressure. Some of these include:

  • dehydration or hunger
  • dental infections and other dental problems
  • fatigue, and conditions or medications that cause fatigue
  • high blood pressure
  • infections, such as meningitis and encephalitis
  • muscle strain in the head or neck
  • stroke and transient ischemic attack (ministroke)

Brain tumours

Common symptoms of brain tumours include headaches, feeling or being sick and seizures (fits).

These symptoms and the others listed below are often caused by other medical conditions. But if you have any of them, it’s important to see your doctor.

Brain tumours cause symptoms because:

  • they take up space inside the skull when they grow
  • of their position in the brain

The symptoms can develop gradually over some months or even years if the tumour is slow growing. Or quickly over days or weeks if the tumour is fast growing.

Symptoms due to increased pressure

Your skull is made of bone, so there’s a fixed amount of space for the brain to take up. If there’s a growing tumour, it increases the pressure inside the skull. This is called raised intracranial pressure. It might cause:

Headaches

Headaches are a common symptom of illness. It’s unlikely that you have a brain tumour if headaches are your only symptom. But see a doctor if you have headaches:

  • with feeling or being sick
  • when you didn’t have them before
  • that wake you up at night
  • with eye problems such as seeing flashing lights or blind spots
  • that got steadily worse over a period of weeks or months

Seizures (fits)

Seizures happen in up to 8 out of every 10 people (up to 80%) with a brain tumour. You might have some jerking or twitching of your hands, arms or legs. Or your seizure might affect your whole body.

Having a seizure is very frightening. Different illnesses can cause seizures and it is important that you see your doctor immediately or go to A&E if you have one.

Feeling or being sick

You might feel or be sick, especially when you move suddenly. It’s rare for people with a brain tumour to have sickness on its own. You may have sickness with headaches, weakness and problems with your eyes.

Drowsiness or loss of consciousness

You might feel drowsy or even lose consciousness. This might happen because raised intracranial pressure can lower the blood supply to the brain. This can be frightening for you and the people around you.

Problems with your eyes

You might find that your eyesight is getting worse and glasses are not helping. Or your vision comes and goes. You might lose the ability to see out of the corner of your eyes, making you bump into cars or objects on your left or right side. You may also have:

  • blurred vision
  • floating shapes
  • tunnel vision

Personality and behaviour changes

You, or the people around you, might notice that you are confused or that your personality has changed. You may also find it difficult to think normally.

Symptoms due to the position of the tumour

Brain tumours can cause different symptoms depending on where they are in the brain. The main areas of the brain include the cerebrum and the cerebellum. The cerebrum is divided into 4 areas called lobes:

  • frontal lobe
  • temporal lobe
  • parietal lobe
  • occipital lobe

There are also other important areas such as:

  • brainstem
  • spinal cord
  • pituitary gland
  • pineal gland

Frontal lobe tumour symptoms

The frontal lobe controls movement such as walking and is part of your personality. A tumour in the frontal lobe may cause:

  • difficulty walking
  • problems with your sight and speech
  • weakness on one side of the body
  • changes in personality or behaving in a way that you wouldn’t normally
  • loss of smell

Temporal lobe tumour symptoms

The temporal lobe is where you process sounds and where you store memories. A tumour in this area may cause:

  • short term memory loss
  • difficulty with hearing and speaking
  • hearing voices in your head

Parietal lobe tumour symptoms

The parietal lobe allows you to recognise objects and stores that knowledge. A tumour in this area may cause:

  • difficulty speaking and understanding
  • problems with reading or writing
  • loss of feeling in one part of the body

Occipital lobe tumour symptoms

The occipital lobe processes what you can see. A tumour located in this area may cause sight problems such as:

  • changes in vision
  • difficulty to identify the colour and size of objects

Cerebellum tumour symptoms

The cerebellum controls our balance and posture. So a tumour in this area may cause:

  • problems with coordination and balance
  • dizziness
  • sickness
  • uncontrolled movements of the eyes such as flickering

Brain stem tumour symptoms

The brain stem controls important body functions such as breathing. A tumour in this area may cause:

  • difficulty swallowing and speaking
  • unsteadiness and difficulty walking
  • double vision

Spinal cord tumour symptoms

The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerves that stretches from the brain to the lower part of the back. A tumour in the spinal cord may cause pain and numbness or weakness in different parts of the body. You may also lose control of your bladder or bowel.

Pituitary gland tumour symptoms

The pituitary gland makes hormones that are important for your body to function. A tumour in this area of the brain can cause:

  • weight gain
  • infertility
  • mood changes
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar levels (diabetes)
  • leakage of milk from the breasts when you’re not breastfeeding

Pineal gland tumour symptoms

The pineal gland makes a hormone called melatonin. Tumours in this area can cause:

  • headaches
  • sickness
  • tiredness
  • double vision
  • unsteadiness when walking

When to see your doctor

See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms or other changes that are unusual for you or that won’t go away. Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer, but it is important to get them checked by a doctor.

Pressure In Head

What is pressure in the head?

Pressure in the head is a sensation of tightness, throbbing or pain affecting the head, which includes the face, scalp, skull and brain. Pressure in the head may frequently be described as a headache and can affect all or just a portion of the head.

Feeling head pressure or a headache is very common, and people of any age group or population can experience pressure in the head. Head pressure and headaches can be caused by such common conditions as inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis), a cold, or allergies. Head pressure may feel slightly uncomfortable, such as with a mild tension headache or sinus congestion, or it may cause severe pain, such as that due to a migraine headache or head injury.

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In medical terms, pressure in the head can also refer to a serious condition in which there is an increase in intracranial pressure inside the skull. However, feeling like you have head pressure or a headache does not necessarily mean that you have increased intracranial pressure.

Increased intracranial pressure is caused by serious conditions, such as an increase in cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions and lubricates the brain and spinal cord, or it can be due to a change in the brain itself, such as a brain mass (tumor). Increased intracranial pressure can also be caused by bleeding into or on the brain due to a head injury.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have had a head injury or an unexplained or sudden feeling of severe pressure in the head, paralysis, difficulty speaking, a seizure, a change in vision, or a change in level of alertness, such as passing out.

For infants and young children unable to communicate, seek immediate medical care (call 911) for a head injury or such symptoms as vomiting coupled with drowsiness or lethargy, or bulging of the soft spot on top of the head (fontanel).

What other symptoms might occur with pressure in the head?

Pressure in the head can be accompanied by other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition, a person’s age, and individual factors. In some cases, symptoms may also involve other body systems, such as the cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory systems. For instance, a migraine headache is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. A slow heart rate may indicate increased intracranial pressure.

Symptoms that might accompany head pressure or a headache include:

  • Aura (visual disturbances and other sensory changes that may occur in some people just before a migraine headache)

  • Chills

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Earache or inability to pop your ears

  • Facial pain or pressure

  • Flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, aches, and pains)

  • Light-headedness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Stuffy nose, runny nose, or postnasal drip

  • Sudden, overwhelming fatigue and the need to lie down in a dark, quiet room to sleep, which is common with migraine headaches

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, pressure in the head may occur with other symptoms that can indicate a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have had a head injury or has any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding from the ear after head injury

  • Bruising and swelling around the eyes

  • Change in consciousness, lethargy, or passing out

  • Confusion or disorientation

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Neurological problems, such as balance issues, numbness and tingling, memory loss, paralysis, slurred or garbled speech, or inability to speak

  • Projectile vomiting

  • Seizure or convulsion

  • Stiff neck

  • Sudden changes or problems with vision

  • Worst headache of your life

Symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition in infants or toddlers include:

  • Bulging of the soft spot on top of the head (fontanel)

  • Drowsiness or lethargy

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Not feeding or responding normally

  • Projectile vomiting

What causes pressure in the head?

A feeling of pressure in the head can be caused by a wide array of mild-to-serious injuries, diseases or conditions.

Causes of head pressure or headache

The most common causes of a feeling of pressure in the head or headache are:

  • Allergies

  • Common cold and other upper respiratory infections

  • Ear infections

  • Migraine headache

  • Muscle tension in the neck, jaw or shoulders

  • Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses often due to infection or allergies)

  • Stress

  • Tension headache

Serious conditions that can cause increased intracranial pressure

Increased intracranial pressure is a serious condition in which there is higher-than-normal pressure inside the skull. Its causes include:

  • Brain aneurysm (weak area in a brain blood vessel that can rupture and bleed)

  • Brain tumor causing pressure within the head

  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain commonly due to infection)

  • Head injury

  • Brain hemorrhage or hematoma (bleeding in the brain due to such causes as head trauma, stroke, or taking blood thinners)

  • Hydrocephalus (high levels of fluid in the brain or water on the brain)

  • Intracranial hypertension (abnormally high pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid in the skull)

  • Meningitis (infection or inflammation of the sac around the brain and spinal cord)

  • Seizure disorder

  • Temporal arteritis (inflammation of blood vessels in the head)

Questions for diagnosing the cause of pressure in the head

A feeling of pressure in the head can be caused by a mild condition, such as a tension headache, or it may signal a serious health problem. To diagnose and best treat your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your head pressure including:

  • In what part of the head do you feel pain or discomfort?

  • How long have you had the pain or discomfort?

  • Have you experienced any recent head injury or trauma?

  • Do you have any other symptoms?

What are the potential complications of pressure in the head?

The potential complications of a sensation of head pressure or medically-diagnosed increased intracranial pressure vary depending on the underlying cause. Because a feeling of pressure in the head can be due to serious or life-threatening conditions in some cases, failure to seek treatment might result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:

  • Coma

  • Disability and poor quality of life due to chronic headaches

  • Paralysis

  • Permanent brain damage, including intellectual and cognitive deficits and difficulties moving and speaking

  • Respiratory arrest

  • Seizures

  • Stroke

Heat and cold treatment: Which is best?

Share on PinterestHot and cold packs can help relieve pain. The choice can depend on the type and cause of the pain.

Cold treatment reduces blood flow to an injured area. This slows the rate of inflammation and reduces the risk of swelling and tissue damage.

It also numbs sore tissues, acting as a local anesthetic, and slows down the pain messages being transmitted to the brain.

Ice can help treat a swollen and inflamed joint or muscle. It is most effective within 48 hours of an injury.

Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) are part of the standard treatment for sports injuries.

Note that ice should not normally be applied directly to the skin.

Types of cold therapy

Some ways of using cold therapy include:

  • a cold compress or a chemical cold pack applied to the inflamed area for 20 minutes, every 4 to 6 hours, for 3 days. Cold compresses are available for purchase online.
  • immersion or soaking in cold, but not freezing, water
  • massaging the area with an ice cube or an ice pack in a circular motion from two to five times a day, for a maximum of 5 minutes, to avoid an ice burn

In the case of an ice massage, ice can be applied directly to the skin, because it does not stay in one place.

Ice should not be applied directly to the bony portions of the spinal column.

A cold compress can be made by filling a plastic bag with frozen vegetables or ice and wrapping it in a dry cloth.

What is ice useful for?

Share on PinterestA cold compress applied within 48 hours of an injury can help reduce inflammation.

Cold treatment can help in cases of:

  • osteoarthritis
  • a recent injury
  • gout
  • strains
  • tendinitis, or irritation in the tendons following activity

A cold mask or wrap around the forehead may help reduce the pain of a migraine.

For osteoarthritis, patients are advised to use an ice massage or apply a cold pad 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.

When not to use ice

Cold is not suitable if:

  • there is a risk of cramping, as cold can make this worse
  • the person is already cold or the area is already numb
  • there is an open wound or blistered skin
  • the person has some kind of vascular disease or injury, or sympathetic dysfunction, in which a nerve disorder affects blood flow
  • the person is hypersensitive to cold

Ice should not be used immediately before activity.

It should not be applied directly to the skin, as this can freeze and damage body tissues, possibly leading to frostbite.

Professional athletes may use ice massage, cold water immersion, and whole-body cryotherapy chambers to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) that can lead to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS commonly emerges 24 to 48 hours after exercise.

A study published in The Cochrane Library in 2012 suggested that a cold bath after exercise may help prevent DOMS, compared with resting or doing nothing.

The participants spent between 5 and 24 minutes in water between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

However, the researchers were not certain whether there may be negative side effects, or if another strategy might be more helpful.

Cryotherapy is primarily a pain-reliever. It will not repair tissues.

Ice and back pain

Ice is best used on recent injuries, especially where heat is being generated.

It may be less helpful for back pain, possibly because the injury is not new, or because the problem tissue, if it is inflamed, lies deep beneath other tissues and far from the cold press.

Back pain is often due to increased muscle tension, which can be aggravated by cold treatments.

For back pain, heat treatment might be a better option.

Heat or Ice? When to Use Heat or Cold for Injuries

Heat vs. Cold: Part 1

When to Use Heat and When to Use Cold or Ice

Determining whether you need heat or ice for an injury can difficult if you’re not schooled in the science behind heat and cold/ice and how they affect the body.

Here’s the short answer:

Use heat for sore muscles, chronic pain, and stress. Use ice/cold for actual injuries – that is, for swelling, redness, or acute pain resulting from a twist or heavy impact.

You’re probably wondering about the science behind this.

That’s for part 2.

Heat vs. Cold: Part 2

How it Works: Why Heat for Chronic Pain and Why Cold for Acute Pain and Injuries?

Heat is better for chronic pain or stress-related pain because it:

  • Increases oxygen flow and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal damaged tissue.
  • Stimulates sensory receptors in the skin, which reduces pain signals to the brain and partially relieves discomfort.
  • Helps eliminate toxins.
  • Relaxes stiffness.

Cold is better for injuries because it:

  • Reduces swelling by constricting local blood vessels and decreasing tissue temperature, leading to significantly decreased blood-flow and significantly slower cell metabolism.
  • Numbs pain via numbing of the nerve receptors from the decreased blood-flow.

Heat vs. Cold: Part 3

How to Apply Heat or Cold

Tips on Applying Heat

There are two type of heat therapy:

  1. Local heat
  2. Systemic heat

Local heat involves heating a specific spot on your body using a warm cloth, a heating pad, or a heated gel pack.

Systemic heat means raising the temperature of your entire body via a bath, jacuzzi, steam bath, or hot shower.

When applying heat therapy, it’s key to:

1. Keep the heat source ‘warm’ not ‘hot’.

Your heat source shouldn’t be burning your skin. Remember, the desired effect is penetration into the muscles. Scalding yourself will not accomplish this.

2. Not apply the heat for too long or too short.

In many cases, the longer the heat is applied, the better. However, duration of heat application should be based on the type of and/or magnitude of injury.

For something like minor back tension or pain, a short interval of heat therapy (such as 15 to 20 minutes) may suffice. For more intense or painful injuries, longer application of heat (such as 30 minutes to 2 hours, or ever more) may work better.

It also depends on how patient you are and how willing you are to sit still. If sitting still and/or reading or watching TV isn’t an option, know that there are many different types of heat wraps, many of which are made to stay on while moving. Also, the best heat wraps will maintain their temperature for a long time.

If you’re sensitive to heat, the amount of time you apply the heat should be shorter. Also – you may need to use a barrier and/or wrap the hot pack in a towel before applying if it’s too hot.

Tips on Applying Cold

Cold or ice therapy should only be applied locally and should never be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time,

Remember: you’re not looking to induce hypothermia, you’re looking to numb your pain and restrict blood flow to the injury.

Also – if you’re extra sensitive to cold you should decrease your time.

Cold therapy can be applied via:

  • An ice pack
  • A cold gel pack
  • A bag of frozen vegetables
  • A frozen towel
  • An ice massage

For an ice massage, using an ice cup will produce the desired effect in less time. There are plenty of ice cups you can buy, or you can just make it at home by simply putting ice in a plastic cup and freezing it. Place the ice cup directly on the injury and massage the injury with the cup. Ice massage therapy is commonly used for things such as minor lower back pain.

When using any kind of ice or cold therapy, it’s key to remember to:

1. Always have a barrier.

Always have some kind of barrier between the ice and your skin. Pillow cases and thin towels or rags work well for this.

2. Make sure your skin is dry before applying.

Applying ice or cold to wet skin will increase the chances of frostbite, so always make sure your skin is dry.

3.. Get it on quickly.

The effectiveness of cold therapy is highest immediately after injury and declines significantly after about 48 hours.

4. Elevate the injury.

Keeping the injured part above the heart while icing will help reduce swelling even more.

5. Count the minutes.

Be sure not to apply the ice for more than 20 minutes or you could be risking frostbite.

If you need more information about using these modalities, give JOI a call at JOI-2000.

How to Relieve Sinus Pressure Once and for All

Inside your sinuses is a thin mucous membrane similar to the one you’d find in your nose. “This membrane produces mucus, which is usually swept away by hair cells (cilia) and drains into the nasal cavity via openings called ostia,” says Arti Madhaven, M.D., of Detroit Medical Center Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital. That mucus also filters out particles like dust, dirt, pollutants, and bacteria. (Related: The Step-By-Step Stages of a Cold—Plus How to Recover Fast)

Sinus pressure becomes an issue when there are physical obstacles to the flow of air through your sinuses. If there are too many particles in your sinuses and that mucus can’t drain, blockages start to form. And “that backed up mucus is a perfect culture medium for bacterial growth, which triggers an inflammatory response by your immune system,” says Dr. Madhaven. “The result is swelling, which can cause facial pain and pressure.” That’s called sinusitis, and the most common triggers are viral infections, common colds, and allergies.

If that sinusitis goes unaddressed, you could be setting yourself up for acute sinusitis, or a sinus infection. (Anatomical defects like a deviated septum or polyps could also be to blame, but those are much less likely.)

How to Relieve Sinus Pressure

So what do you do to deal with all that pressure? You can use the same treatments whether you’re trying to relieve sinus pressure in your face, head, or ears; at the end of the day, it’s an inflammatory response.

First, you can manage your symptoms with nasal corticosteroids, some of which can be obtained over-the-counter (like Flonase and Nasacort), says Dr. Madhaven. (Talk to a doc if you’re using them long-term, though.)

Also helpful: “Drink plenty of fluids, inhale steam or humidified air, and press warm towels to your face,” says Dr. Bhandarkar. You can also use nasal saline rinses and sprays, decongestants, and over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, he says.

Alternative treatments such as acupressure and essential oils may also be effective, he adds, but you should definitely be evaluated by a physician if the pressure continues for seven to 10 days, is recurrent, or is chronic. But usually, sinus pressure is due to a virus and will resolve on its own.

Address the *Real* Problem

Make sure you actually get to the real root of the issue. “Many people misinterpret facial pressure to be automatically related to the sinuses because of the location and thus universally term this ‘sinus pressure,'” says Dr. Bhandarkar. “Although sinusitis is one cause of pressure, many other conditions, including migraine and allergies, can cause similar symptoms.”

Antibiotics, for example, won’t help if you’re dealing with a virus, and antihistamines are only useful for allergies, so it’s important for you to keep track of your symptoms, know your health history, and see a doc if this becomes an ongoing problem.

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