If you are one of the millions of people whose sinuses suffer every time the weather changes, you are looking for relief. In this article we'll discuss why the sinuses are affected, and some ways to help get you through it.
As the weather changes seasons, new elements are introduced into the air. Pollen and other allergens are breathed in and the membranes in the sinuses fail to recognize the foreign bodies. The reaction produces antibodies and histamines to combat the allergen. Those with extra sensibility to allergens will suffer from sinus inflammation leading to congestion, runny nose, postnasal drip and sinus pressure.
Throughout the day, atmospheric pressure is every fluctuating. However, when there is a severe and rapid shift in pressure, those with sensitive sinuses will feel the punch. When the pressure changes, oxygen levels are shifting. The body naturally tries to regulate those levels by releasing oxygen that is stored in the sinus cavities. If the sinuses are inflamed, they will narrow the sinus cavities and prevent the oxygen's easy release. So the oxygen becomes trapped in the sinuses causing pressure. Many people experience this when going from hot and humid outside air to dry and cold air-conditioned air. Most of the time this is referred to as a "pressure headache" and affects the areas above the eyes, nose and jaw.
There are many different kinds of OTC (over-the-counter) medications designed to relieve the symptoms of allergies. Antihistamines are used to attach to the pollen before the body produces histamines, the cause of our allergic reactions. They rid the sinuses of the irritant before the body reacts itself. Decongestants are designed to clear up the inflammation in the sinuses to allow for freer airflow. Usually the best OTC medications for pressure headaches are those designed to reduce sinus swelling.
"Home remedies" include techniques to restore moisture to the sinuses such as hot teas, humidifiers and steamy showers. The goal is to soothe the irritated membranes inside the sinuses so they will open up and release built up mucus and pressure.
In more severe cases, a physician should be consulted for prescription level antibiotics or other stronger solutions, especially if the symptoms last for over a week. Sometimes sinusitis, an infection in the sinuses, could be complicating the conditions, and only a doctor will be able to find the right solution for the particular situation.
For more information about sinus pressure, contact an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor. If you are in Georgia, Atlanta sinus specialists can help you find solutions.