Sinus Inflammation & Sinus Pain

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Why does sinus inflammation cause pain?

When the sinuses are dry or irritated either by an outside irritant or an underlying condition, it can cause nasal inflammation. If this happens, mucus and air cannot pass through the sinuses as it usually would. This causes mucus backup, which leads to stuffiness, difficulty breathing, and poor sleep quality. In addition to these annoying symptoms, sinus inflammation can cause pain in the face due to sinus pressure and buildup. Many who suffer from allergies or chronic sinusitis deal with the pain of inflamed sinuses on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the pain associated with sinus pressure must usually be treated by uncovering the underlying condition. Simply treating the symptoms of sinus pain may not cure the actual medical issue.

What makes sinuses swell?

Many cases of sinus swelling are associated with one of the following sinus problems:

  • Viral sinus infection
  • Bacterial sinus infection
  • Fungal sinus infection
  • Allergies
  • Common cold
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Chemical irritants
  • Smoking
  • Nasal polyps

Can swollen sinuses lead to complications if left untreated?

Swollen sinuses and chronic sinusitis could lead to other complications, including secondary conditions. For instance, your nasal inflammation could be originally caused by exposure to an allergen. Over time, the swelling could lead to mucus buildup and a sinus infection. In other cases, nasal swelling could contribute to:

  • Severe sinus pain
  • Snoring
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Meningitis
  • Other infections (especially to the bones or skin)
  • Vision issues
  • Loss of sense of smell

How To Reduce Sinus Inflammation

Depending on the underlying condition causing the sinus pain and nasal inflammation, your ear, nose, and throat doctor might recommend any of the following:

  • At home humidifier
  • Proper hydration
  • Saline nasal irrigation system
  • Head elevation while sleeping
  • Resting
  • Warm compresses to the face
  • Antibiotics
  • Allergy shots
  • Allergy medications
  • Corticosteroids
  • Decongestants
  • Sinus surgery
  • Nasal polyp removal surgery  

If you are suffering from sinus pain and inflammation, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of nasal conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at 212-873-6036 to schedule an appointment today.

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