Q:

How do you relieve sinus pressure?

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Quick Answer

To reduce the pressure caused by blocked sinuses, WebMD recommends taking decongestants, irrigating the sinuses and keeping the nasal passages moist. If not treated, this pressure may cause a headache or pain around the jaw.

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Full Answer

Decongestants reduce the amount of mucus in the nasal passages, relieving swelling and pressure. WebMD cautions against using an oral decongestant for more than seven days or a nasal spray for more than three days. As of 2014, photo identification is required in the United States to purchase medications containing pseudoephedrine, a decongestant often used to manufacture methamphetamine, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.

There are special pots available for rinsing the sinuses. Distilled or sterile water is best, but it's possible to use tap water if the water is boiled first and then cooled. The Food and Drug Administration recommends tilting the head sideways and inserting the spout of the pot into the upper nostril. This allows the fluid to flow from one nostril to the other. After rinsing one side, the procedure should be repeated with the head tilted the other way.

Using a saline nasal spray keeps nasal passages moist. The spray should not contain any decongestants or other medications, as recommended by NYU Langone Medical Center. Running a humidifier also prevents the nasal passages from drying out.

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