What Conditions Cause Sinus Pressure and Headaches?

K. Gierok

While sinus pressure and headaches may not seem like serious conditions, they can be life-altering for those who suffer from them. One of the most common conditions that causes these symptoms are allergic reactions. In addition, sinus infections, nasal deformities, and chronic conditions can also lead to serious pressure and headaches. Typically, once the underlying cause of the sinus pressure has been dealt with, the sinus pain will soon dissipate.

A woman with a headache.
A woman with a headache.

One of the most common conditions that can cause sinus pressure and headaches is allergic reactions. While many people consider pollen to be one of the most common types of allergens, other items such as pet hair and dust can also cause serious allergic reactions, including significant amounts of swelling in the nasal and sinus passageways. This swelling can lead to pressure and headaches. Individuals who suffer from allergic reactions should take care to avoid allergens as much as possible, and they may want to take allergy medications to decrease the symptoms.

Sinus pressure and headaches can be an allergic reaction.
Sinus pressure and headaches can be an allergic reaction.

Sinus infections can also cause headaches and painful pressure. These are often caused by various fungi and bacteria that invade the sinus cavity. As with an allergic reaction, a sinus infection often can cause swelling of the sinuses, leading to serious pain and pressure. Sometimes, infections outside the sinus cavity may also cause sinus pressure and headaches. Nasal vestibulitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the hair follicles of the nose. While this infection does not actually start in the sinuses, they may become infected as drainage from the area passes through them.

Often, people who suffer from nasal deformities, like polyps or a deviated septum, are often also at risk for sinus pressure and headaches. These conditions can typically be easily remedied, however, and once they are treated, the pain associated with them typically goes away rather quickly.

Some chronic conditions such as asthma, a weak immune system, cystic fibrosis, or other conditions can cause headaches and pressure in the sinuses. These conditions often prevent the flow of mucus from the sinuses, which can lead to the development of serious sinus pain. As with individuals with nasal deformities, those with these chronic conditions can typically be freed from their sinus conditions once the underlying cause of the sinus irritation has been dealt with.

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