The sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in the skull. The largest, the maxillary sinuses, are about an inch across and are located in your cheekbones. Your frontal sinuses are located in low-center of your forehead. Your ethmoid sinuses are found between your eyes, while your sphenoid sinuses are located in bones behind your nose.

The sinuses are lined with soft, pink tissue called mucosa. Normally, the sinuses are empty except for a thin layer of mucus. The exact function of sinuses remains unclear.

Experts believe they help humidify the air we breathe in and enhance our voices.

A stuffy or congested nose caused by the common cold, flu, sinus infection, or nasal allergies may result in a buildup of pressure in the sinuses.

Increased sinus pressure can cause pain, pressure and fullness in your cheeks, brow or forehead, as well as fatigue and an achy feeling in your upper teeth.


Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. He may perform skin and blood tests to determine whether your symptoms are caused by an allergy or infection.



Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may recommend the following:

  • Antihistamines – a class of medicine that stops your body from making histamine.
  • Decongestants – a type of drug that constricts blood vessels in the nose thereby relieving stuffiness and sinus pressure.
  • Nasal sprays – can help relieve itchiness and other allergy-related symptoms for a short time. Long-term use of these products should be avoided.
  • Pain relievers – these include acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen, which can ease the pain caused by sinus pressure.
  • Antibiotics – a bacterial infection can cause sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses. Antibiotics can treat the infection.

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