Ear, Nose and Throat

How does air pressure affect my sinuses?

A Answers (2)

  • ASanford Health answered
    Much like when your ears "pop" when flying or when there are changes in elevation, there is an equalizing of pressure that takes place between the hollow space behind your ear and your nose. Sinuses are very similar in the fact that unless the pressure is equal both in the sinus and in your nose, this difference in pressure may cause pain. For normal sinuses the pressure can often equalize on its own but when the passage way between the sinus and the nose becomes blocked or is not large enough, the pressure will build up causing increased pain and pressure.
  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Your sinus cavities are just that, spaces in your head filled with air and sometimes fluid. When the outside air pressure drops, the air trapped inside your sinuses wants to escape, putting pressure on your head and causing pain. The easiest way to tell if sinuses are causing your head pain is to press on them to feel if pain is localized there.
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