Best Medicine For Sinus Pressure

Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. Various factors can bring it on, including allergies, smoking, and viral infections. It can also happen due to a blockage in one or more sinuses. When you have sinusitis, your nose will feel congested, and you might experience headaches. Sinusitis is not the same thing as the common cold and flu symptoms. Read this article to learn about the best medicine for sinus pressure. A cold doesn’t always lead to sinusitis; it mostly just makes you feel run-down and weak until the virus runs its course. But if you develop persistent sinus symptoms after coming down with a common cold or flu, that could indicate sinusitis. An excess build-up of mucous in the nasal passages and throat causes most people to experience symptoms when they have a blocked or infected sinus.

The Best Medicine for Sinus Pressure: Drugs, Remedies, More

Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. Various factors can bring it on, including allergies, smoking, and viral infections. It can also happen due to a blockage in one or more sinuses. When you have sinusitis, your nose will feel congested, and you might experience headaches. Sinusitis is not the same thing as the common cold and flu symptoms. Read this article to learn about the best medicine for sinus pressure. A cold doesn’t always lead to sinusitis; it mostly just makes you feel run-down and weak until the virus runs its course. But if you develop persistent sinus symptoms after coming down with a common cold or flu, that could indicate sinusitis. An excess build-up of mucous in the nasal passages and throat causes most people to experience symptoms when they have a blocked or infected sinus.

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There are several effective medications available today that help relieves some of the symptoms associated with sinusitis. These medicines include decongestants, antibiotics , antifungal pills, and other drugs designed to treat this condition. They all work differently from each other but have similar effects on reducing congestion and alleviating pain in your nose and throat.

The 6 best medicine for sinus pressure

Since sinusitis can cause symptoms similar to the cold and flu, it is essential to treat your symptoms with medication. If you don’t have access to a doctor or pharmacy, many over-the-counter medications can help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with sinusitis. Sudafed: This medicine helps relieve nasal congestion and is available in many forms, such as tablets, nasal sprays, and drops. Claritin: This medicine treats allergies by blocking histamine receptors in the nose. It comes in an oral tablet form. Afrin: This medicine works like Sudafed but can be inhaled. Azithromycin: Two kinds of antibiotics relieve pain and reduce swelling associated with sinusitis – azithromycin and cephalexin. In addition, azithromycin is more effective at fighting off bacteria than cephalexin. Azithromycin is available in different forms, like tablets, oral suspension, eye drops, and injection forms. Decongestants: These medicines shrink swollen blood vessels around your nose to reduce pressure from fluid build-up. They come in liquid form or a spray or tablet form for adults or children under 12 years old. Rhinocort: This medicine comes in a saline nasal spray for adults and children over 12 years old. It reduces congestion from sinus infection.

Remedies for Sinusitis Pressure in the Ears

1. Warm salt water gargle

You can try a warm salt water gargle to ease sinusitis pressure in the ears. You need to mix 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 cup of warm tap water in a glass. Then take a sip and gargle it around your mouth before spitting it out. This will help clear out any severe congestion that may have built up in your nose, which will ultimately help with sinusitis pressure.

2. Steam inhalation

Another natural way to relieve sinus pressure is by using steam inhalation therapy. This is a traditional remedy for sinusitis. Still, most people use it for other things, like clearing out mucous from the nasal passages or relieving nasal congestion, headache pain, and more. To steam yourself, all you need to do is heat some hot water in a pot on the stove and put a towel over your head for about 10 minutes so that the hot steam can penetrate your chest area.

3. Ginger tea

If you’re looking for something pretty easy and quick to help ease sinusitis pressure, ginger tea is what you’re looking for. You need to brew one tablespoon of ground ginger root in 2 cups of boiling water until fragrant (about 3-5 minutes). Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely before drinking through a straw or adding honey if desired (see below). This will help with inflammation.

Natural remedies for sinus congestion

Bulging eyes, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat can be uncomfortable and annoying. They also might be signs of sinusitis, which is why taking care of your sinuses is essential. Luckily, some natural remedies can help clear up congestion and sinus problems. Some of these natural remedies include using saltwater nasal sprays, inhaling steam from a hot shower, or drinking hot tea with honey. While these natural remedies for sinus congestion are effective at reducing the symptoms associated with your condition, they won’t work if you already have an infection. That’s why you must talk to your doctor about the most appropriate treatments.

Can sinus infections be treated with OTC medications?

You can treat sinus infections with OTC sinus medications such as nasal decongestants, steroid nasal sprays (nasal corticosteroids), antibiotics, antifungal pills, and other medicines designed specifically for treating this condition. They all work differently from each other but have similar effects on reducing congestion and alleviating sinus pain in your nose and throat. You can also use home remedies. Some effective ones include a saltwater gargle or gargle with warm tea (not hot) to help loosen mucous build-up in the nasal passages. Another effective method is using a neti pot to wash out excess mucus from the sinuses (nasal irrigation).

Best medicine for sinus pressure in kids

5 best medicine for sinus pressure

Most kids will experience sinus problems at some point during their childhood, so it’s essential to know how to treat it. Here is the best medicine for sinus pressure relief for children: 1. Pseudoephedrine Pseudoephedrine is the most common medication for relieving sinus pressure in adults. It dilates the blood vessels in your nose and throat, which helps you breathe more easily. If your child has the flu or cold, they might need to take this cold medicine at night before bed. 2. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen Ibuprofen is often combined with acetaminophen to effectively relieve fever, headaches, and other symptoms of sinusitis. Doctors found this combination very effective in a recent clinical trial that compared it against pseudoephedrine alone. The researchers concluded that while the combination did not work as well as pseudoephedrine, it still provided some helpful relief from symptoms like nausea and dizziness when taken for six weeks or more. 3. Nasal decongestant sprays Sprays are one of the most prevalently prescribed medications for treating sinusitis pain and congestion. These decongestants work by shrinking blood vessels in your nose and throat area, which can reduce the pain associated with sinus infections.

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How can I safely take Over-The-Counter decongestants?

  • Advil Sinus Congestion Relief
  • Sudafed PE Decongestant
  • Vicks VapoRub.

While these medications may offer temporary relief, they are not meant to be used as a long-term solution or pain medication.

If you’re experiencing chronic sinusitis or symptoms that seem to be worsening over time, talk with your doctor about other options for treatment.

Who shouldn’t take decongestants?

You should not take oral decongestants if you have certain medical conditions, like high blood pressure or glaucoma. In addition, if you think you’re reacting to medications or have any other complications from your sinus infection symptoms, you must speak with your doctor before taking nasal decongestant tablets.

Talking to your doctor before beginning any new treatment for your symptoms is essential.

When Should You Worry about Sinusitis Pressure?

While most people don’t develop sinusitis until their 40s, the condition can happen at a younger age. If you notice persistent sinusitis pressure symptoms, your doctor will likely recommend testing to determine if you have sinusitis. In some cases, people may not need any treatment at all.

However, if your symptoms persist or get worse, it’s essential to consult your healthcare specialist so that he can determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and prescribe the treatment that is best for you.

When should I see a medical specialist for Sinusitis Pressure?

If you’re experiencing extreme pain or pressure in your sinuses, it’s best to visit a healthcare provider for treatment and pain relief. You should also see a healthcare specialist if you have facial swelling that doesn’t seem to go away.

Furthermore, it’s time to seek medical attention if your symptoms come with fever, headache, or drowsiness. These are all signs of something more severe going on and should be addressed immediately.

Most often, sinusitis is treated with antibiotics and decongestants. However, if the condition is severe, you might also need antifungal or other sinus-related medications like antihistamines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The feeling of pressure (or pain) in the ears is commonly known as TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition causes painful clicking or clicking sounds with the mouth’s opening, transporting, and closing. Everyone in the world can have TMJ dysfunction. However, when it comes to hearing, it produces specific results.

Three things can happen with the TMJ function:-

1. Nothing at all, you don’t feel anything, and your TMJ is unnoticed.

2. Clicking noises, you will suffer from this type of TMJ sound. It’s due to discomfort from your teeth on the other eardrum and soft tissue damage such as muscle misalignment and clenching jaw in response to hearing sounds that do not match your expectations.

3. Disturbances in hearing range, including distorted sounds, constant ringing in the ear, and itchiness of ear drum skin, are the symptoms that manifest for those with extreme cases of TMJ dysfunction.

You can do a few things to reduce the pain of a sinus headache. First, drink a lot of fluids to relieve your headache. Second, take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Finally, turn on some white noise—like a fan or a TV—to help mask the sound of your headache. Sinusitis is prevalent and usually does not require treatment in its own right. Usually, it is treated with medications or sinus surgery when treatment is necessary.

If your doctor recommends treatment for sinusitis, several options are available.

The first is medications like mucus sprays or nose drops that can thin out the mucus in your nose and ease your headaches.

Another medication you may use is an antibiotic injection into your nose to help kill the bacteria causing your sinusitis.

Finally, if the infection has spread throughout your entire sinuses, you may require surgical removal of infected tissue.

Mucinex is a product that can help to alleviate sinusitis symptoms, including nasal congestion and stuffy nose. If you experience sinusitis symptoms, look at Mucinex Nasal Congestion Relief product. It is a decongestant nasal spray that helps to relieve the signs of congestion, pressure, and pain in the sinuses.

This product can help to decrease the inflammation in your sinuses and loosen mucus so it can drain away from your nose. This can help to relieve some of the symptoms of sinusitis.

7 Best OTC Nasal Decongestants for 2022

person breathing clearly after use of OTC nasal decongestant

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  • Best sinus decongestant for allergies:Benadryl Allergy Plus Decongestant Ultratabs
  • Best OTC decongestant for a headache:Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain
  • Best OTC sinus decongestant nasal spray:Afrin No Drip Severe Congestion
  • Best sinus decongestant for kids:Little Remedies Decongestant Nose Drops
  • Best OTC decongestant day/night duo:Sudafed PE Day and Night Sinus Pressure Tablets
  • Best sinus decongestant on a budget:Cabinet Nasal Decongestant Tablets
  • Best OTC decongestant for bedtime:Mucinex Night Shift Cold and Flu

Sinus decongestants are products that can relieve pressure in your head and nose. If you’re having trouble breathing due to cold, flu, or allergies, these products are designed to relieve your symptoms and help you carry on with your day.

These medications are available over the counter at affordable prices, but that doesn’t always make it easy to choose one that’s best for you.

Every over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant formula is different. Some target multiple symptoms and bring together multiple active ingredients to do so. Others are designed simply to relieve a stuffy nose caused by allergies. Some may make you drowsy, while others might make it difficult for you to sleep. Knowing the difference between these products will help you choose the best product for your symptoms and situation.

We rounded up the best decongestants you can buy over the counter to make the decision-making process easier.

Having a basic understanding of common decongestant types might help you narrow down what kind of product you are looking for. In general:

  • decongestant ingredients work by dilating your blood vessels to relieve pressure in your sinuses
  • antihistamine ingredients work by blocking your body’s response to allergens
  • corticosteroid ingredients work by reducing your immune response to allergens and decreasing inflammation
Decongestant type Best for Possible side effects
Phenylephrine decongestant sinus congestion caused by cold and flu restlessness, dizziness, anxiety
Pseudoephedrine decongestant sinus congestion caused by cold and flu restlessness, dizziness, anxiety, nausea, upset stomach
Intranasal decongestants sinus congestion caused by cold and flu restlessness, dizziness, sore throat, bloody nose
Intranasal corticosteroids hay fever and allergies headache, sore throat, bloody nose
Antihistamines sneezing and runny nose drowsiness
  • Customer reviews: We chose products that scored high marks in trust with customers, according to hundreds of verified reviews.
  • Transparency: We looked for products and brands that make realistic, medically-sound claims about their products.
  • Clinical trials and peer-reviewed literature: We read through what doctors and researchers have observed about different active ingredients available on the market.

Pricing guide

Best OTC sinus decongestant for allergies

Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion Ultratabs

What we liked: These tablets contain diphenhydramine, an antihistamine ingredient that fights allergy symptoms, as well as phenylephrine, which reduces sinus congestion. You can take one of these tablets every 4 hours throughout the day, and reviewers note that they take effect relatively quickly.

What to know: These tablets aren’t intended to fight the flu or a cold, so they should only be taken if your sinus congestion is caused by allergies. You should also be aware that diphenhydramine can make you feel quite sleepy, so avoid this medication on days when you need to be alert.

Best OTC sinus decongestant for a headache

What we liked: These coated tablets contain proven decongestant ingredient phenylephrine along with pain reliever ibuprofen. You can take a tablet up to every four hours. The combination of nasal swelling relief, along with the pain relief medication, can quickly relieve many sinus-related headaches. Many reviewers who have frequent sinus headaches swear by this product as being better than even some prescription medications.

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What to know: Make sure to keep track of the amount of ibuprofen you’re taking if you’re using this product. Don’t take additional pain relievers, like acetaminophen or aspirin, along with this product unless you’re instructed to by a doctor. It’s easy to end up taking a dose that’s higher than recommended of analgesics when you’re mixing medications.

Best OTC sinus decongestant nasal spray

Afrin No Drip Severe Congestion

What we liked: Nasal sprays like Afrin shrink swollen nasal passages by directly applying an active ingredient to your sinuses. The advantage of this can be that sprays tend to work more quickly than a tablet or a liquid decongestant. Afrin’s spray contains oxymetazoline hydrochloride as well as menthol, which relaxes and refreshes your nasal passages pretty much right away, according to reviewers.

What to know: Afrin should only be used temporarily to relieve sinus congestion. Rebound stuffiness can occur in as little as 3 days. Using nasal sprays for a long duration can lead to side effects.

Best OTC sinus decongestant for kids

Little Remedies Decongestant Nose Drops

What we liked: These dye-free drops contain phenylephrine in a dosage that’s safe for kids 2 and up. The dropper-dose formula can be applied 2 to 3 drops at a time directly to nasal passages, which makes for fast relief. (No waiting for tablets to kick in at bedtime). This decongestant can work for symptoms of a cold or flu, or it can be used to help manage congestion caused by allergies.

What to know: It can be difficult to get little ones to sit still and have the drops applied into their nose. You may have better luck putting the formula in a spray-mist bottle or another mist-based bottle to get your child to cooperate.

Best OTC decongestant day/night duo

Sudafed PE Day and Night Sinus Pressure Tablets

  • Price: $$
  • Type: oral tablet
  • Drowsy effect: daytime formula is nondrowsy; nighttime formula has drowsy side effects

What we liked: These tablets contain phenylephrine for sinus congestion relief during the daytime, as well as an additional antihistamine ingredient for nighttime use. These ingredients can treat environmental allergies as well as congestion caused by the common cold. There are 12 tablets meant for daytime use and 8 that you can take at night, which means you can take a few extra tablets during the day if you need to but stick to one right before bedtime once you’re ready to sleep.

What to know: There’s no pain relief ingredient included in either the day or nighttime formulas of these tablets. That means that if you have a headache and treating your sinus pressure doesn’t give you relief, you might still find yourself reaching for acetaminophen at the end of the day.

Best OTC sinus decongestant on a budget

Cabinet Nasal Decongestant Tablets

What we liked: This mega-size container of 225 tablets is a great solution if multiple people in your family are prone to allergies or sinus headaches. The no-frills phenylephrine formula is comparable to the dosage you’d find in a name brand, but at a fraction of the cost. The formula doesn’t contain anything that will make you sleepy, and you can take a tablet every 4 hours on days when symptoms are hitting you hard.

What to know: Some customers complained that the bottle is too large to fit in their medicine cabinet, which seems like a small complaint for a product if you’ll be using it often. This particular tablet only targets sinus congestion, so it will not relieve symptoms like fever or a cough.

Best OTC decongestant for bedtime

Mucinex Nightshift Cold and Flu Liquid

What we liked: This liquid formula contains a pain reliever, a cough suppressant, and an antihistamine ingredient that work together to give you a good night’s sleep when you’re sick. It does not contain any decongestant, however, so keep that in mind when using this treatment. It’s great for bedtime because it tames coughing fits that may be keeping you up at night. Although it does not contain a decongestant, the antihistamine ingredient may also reduce nasal congestion caused by seasonal allergies.

What to know: Unlike the other decongestants on this list, this product doesn’t contain anything that loosens mucus. Some reviewers note that they really dislike the taste of this medicine.

When you’re figuring out which decongestant to buy, you’ll need to determine what’s causing your congestion.

If it’s allergies, you’ll probably want a product that contains an antihistamine ingredient like diphenhydramine. Antihistamines target your body’s immune response to allergens like pollen. Antihistamines usually make the person taking them a bit drowsy, so keep in mind taking them at any time other than bedtime may have you needing a nap.

If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may be looking for a product that includes phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. These ingredients work by shrinking your blood vessels, which can help you breathe more easily and reduce the symptoms of a sinus headache or a stuffy nose.

However, both of these ingredients can cause you to feel restless and can make it difficult to fall asleep. These types of drugs can also make you nauseous. Generally, phenylephrine may have fewer serious side effects than pseudoephedrine. You should always consult a doctor before taking these meds if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Some OTC sinus decongestant formulas include both antihistamines and decongestant ingredients, and some add pain relief ingredients such as ibuprofen to their formula. It’s best to treat for symptoms that you have, not for additional symptoms that you don’t have.

If you’re already taking over-the-counter pain relief medication for, say, a sinus headache, you don’t want to add additional pain relief meds into the mix if you don’t need to.

It’s difficult to keep track of dosage when you’re mixing medications that have overlapping active ingredients, and too much of any pain reliever can lead to complications like stomach problems, rebound headaches, and kidney damage.

Treating your congestion with OTC products doesn’t always provide relief. You should seek professional medical care if you experience any of the following:

  • persistent congestion that lasts for a week or more
  • a high fever that lasts for more than 48 hours
  • chest pain of any sort
  • difficulty breathing

There are also home remedies that you can use to relieve discomfort and clear your congestion. Natural decongestion remedies include:

  • sleeping with a humidifier in your room
  • diffusing essential oils
  • using saline sprays
  • taking steamy showers
  • using a neti pot

When should I use a nasal decongestant?

If you have mild congestion caused by cold, flu, or seasonal allergies, you may want to consider an OTC nasal decongestant. This can help clear up your nasal passages and help you breathe more easily.

You don’t have to take a decongestant as part of your at-home treatment regimen. Once your infection clears away or your allergies aren’t triggered, the congestion will clear up on its own.

Can or should I take a sinus decongestant for a sinus infection?

You can take certain decongestants for a sinus infection.

Decongestants that contain only pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine are more typically recommended for a sinus infection. Decongestants with additional ingredients like antihistamines may suppress your body’s immune response and interfere with your body’s ability to fight the infection.

If you have a severe sinus infection or if you’re on antibiotics, consult with your doctor about the best OTC medication choice for you.

Do sinus decongestants work for ear congestion?

Sinus decongestants can work to relieve pressure in the upper sinus cavities. If you have ear congestion, relieving this pressure can help manage your pain. But sinus decongestants can’t treat an underlying ear infection.

Is it safe to take sinus decongestants while pregnant?

It depends on the active ingredient. OTC pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine should only be used during pregnancy under your doctor’s supervision. They should not be used during the first trimester, only after, and even then, only with your doctor’s recommendation.

Talk with your doctor before using drugs containing these ingredients if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Research in animals has shown adverse effects on the fetus when the mother takes these drugs. There haven’t been enough studies with humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus. These drugs should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

Can you take sinus decongestants if you have high blood pressure?

Phenylephrine is not considered to be safe if you have high blood pressure. Sinus decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine may actually raise your blood pressure and counteract the blood pressure medication that you’re on. If you have high blood pressure, you should speak with your doctor about which decongestant they recommend for you.

The best way to choose an OTC decongestant is to look at the active ingredients. A good decongestant should treat only the symptoms you have, and not any additional symptoms you don’t have.

OTC decongestants are not a solution for severe, long-lasting sinus infections and chronic allergies. You may need to speak with your doctor about a long-term strategy if you find that OTC decongestants aren’t effectively managing your symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on July 18, 2022

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Meltzer, EO, et al. (2015). Oral phenylephrine HCl for nasal congestion in seasonal allergic rhinitis: A Randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study.
  • Richards, E, et al. (2021). Phenylephrine.
  • Which over-the-counter medications are safe during pregnancy? (2018).

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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