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"Why do I feel constant pressure from my sinuses?"


I am a 25-yr old female and I have seasonal allergies, and a history of sinus infections. Most recently I have been experiencing a lot of headache pain and nose pressure. My jaw also hurts and when I try to massage it I get a bad headache. Can humidity help?


I am sorry to hear about your symptoms, as sinus headaches can be horribly uncomfortable and impact almost everything in your life. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to try and alleviate the pressure and decrease the associated problems. First, if you have been having continuous problems with your allergies and sinus headaches, you should see an ear-nose-and throat surgeon (AKA ENT AKA otolaryngologist) for a complete physical exam, review of your history, and, likely, an endoscopic visualization of your sinus cavities.

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Perhaps he or she will also want to obtain radiographic imaging to further help to see if there is anything contributing to the recurrent nature of your sinus infections, such as nasal polyps, which commonly occur in people who have a long history of inflammation and nasal irritation. While you are waiting for that appointment, you are correct in guessing that increasing the humidity (as with a humidifier while you sleep at night) can sometimes help to thin out the nasal secretions so that they drain in the appropriate manner--instead of being the green cement that sometimes forms. Also, try using nasal saline irrigation, as with the Neti Pot, as they have been found to help many people. Finally, hang in there. With the appropriate guidance of a physician, there is much that can be done to improve your symptoms quickly.

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