- If you suffer from chronic or periodic sinus pain, pressure or congestion, make an appointment to visit an allergist to find out if your problems are being caused by allergies. Common allergies that can cause sinus problems include pollen, ragweed, freshly cut or mowed grass, milk, eggs, peanut butter and shellfish. If you are allergic to any of these foods or substances, your body will attempt to fight off what it perceives to be an infectious agent by producing an overabundance of histamine, which causes swelling in your nasal cavities and sinuses. When your sinus cavities are swollen, they cannot drain properly. Congestion, pressure and pain are the result when the mucus in your sinuses accumulates. Chronic allergies can also contribute to viral and bacterial infections, as your sinuses become a breeding ground for these agents when there is too much mucus.
- If you suffer from mild allergies and cannot avoid the substances that trigger congestion in your sinuses, you may wish to speak to your doctor about treating your condition with antihistamine medication. Antihistamines block the receptors that control the production of histamines in your body and reduce swelling in your nasal cavities and sinuses. Although there are many over-the-counter antihistamine medications available, you may need prescription-strength medication to treat chronic allergies. Even then, because antihistamines do not actually block the production of histamines but only inhibit it, your allergy symptoms may only be reduced by roughly 50 percent of what they would have been without medication. For this reason, the best course of action is to avoid exposure to allergens whenever possible.
- If you decide to treat your sinus problems with antihistamine medication, be sure to let your doctor know about any underlying medical condition you may have. Some of these medications can cause heart palpitations in patients with cardiovascular disorders, and some other medications may be affected negatively if combined with antihistamines. If you suffer from asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, taking antihistamine medication may cause you to have difficulty breathing, so speak to your doctor about alternative treatments. People with phenylketonuria, an enzyme deficiency, should be aware that some antihistamine medications may contain aspartame, which breaks down to phenylalanine in the body, something these sufferers are ill equipped to handle. Speak to your pharmacist about your medication if you are uncertain about its inactive ingredients.
- Treat allergic sinus congestion naturally by squeezing the juice out of fresh ginger and taking up to three teaspoons a day during allergy season. Another method to treat sinus pressure and congestion naturally is to soak five bulbs of garlic in hot water for half an hour, then mash the garlic. Heat it in a pan on the stove in a quarter cup of water, and inhale the steam. Because garlic has antimicrobial properties, the garlic steam will help to kill bacteria living in your sinus cavities. The steam will also help to loosen your mucus and drain congestion. Repeat the garlic steam once or twice a day, as needed for congestion.