What Is the Cause of Sinus Pain Behind the Ear?

Sinus pain behind the ear is caused by sinus stuffiness and congestion that produces pressure in the ears, explains WebMD. Congested nasal membranes can block the eustachian tube that leads to the ear and produces fluid behind the eardrum or blockage in the ear that causes pain, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Sinus congestion can cause pain, dizziness and a muffled sensation in the ear, according to WebMD. Patients can reduce congestion in the ear by using a nasal saline spray several times each day and holding a moist, warm washcloth to the face. Patients also can relieve sinus pain that affects the ear by using a humidifier or inhaling the steam from a hot shower.

Over-the-counter decongestant pills or sprays may help ease sinus blockage that causes pain in the ears, WebMD recommends. Pain relievers such as naproxen, ibuprofen or acetaminophen may ease earaches caused by sinus pressure. Sinus pain medications that combine a pain reliever with a decongestant or antihistamine also can be helpful, states the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

Patients should avoid exposure to extreme temperatures that can worsen sinus-related ear pain and congestion and keep the head elevated to alleviate pressure in the head and ears. Bending forward with the head down often causes increased pressure in the sinuses and ears.