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Experiencing Facial Pressure? Find Out Why

Does your face feel sore to the touch? Are you experiencing facial pressure and don’t know why? Our Houston ENT can explain a variety of reasons that can cause of this uncomfortable sensation. In order to diagnose the cause of your facial discomfort, it’s important to note which specific areas of your face are under pressure, different areas can mean different conditions.

What Is Facial Pressure?

It’s most notably felt as a sense of fullness, pressure, soreness or pain (in more severe cases) throughout the affected area. Facial pressure can affect your entire face from your forehead and eyes to your nose, cheeks, and jawline. Conditions such as sinus headaches, sinusitis, and deviated septum are the leading causes of facial pressure. But each has distinct signs that will reveal which one is the culprit behind your face related soreness.

Sinus Headaches

If you are experiencing a fullness/pressure and pain in your cheeks, brow or forehead area, you could be suffering from a sinus headache. The symptoms above are usually accompanied by a stuffy nose, worsening pain when you bend forward or lie down, fatigue and an achy feeling in your upper teeth.

Sinus headaches occur when your sinuses become swollen due to allergies or an infection, they end up producing more mucus and the channels that drain them become blocked. Due to this blockage, you’ll feel the build-up of pressure in your sinuses, which then translates into the pain felt throughout your cheeks, brow, and forehead.


For sinus headaches, treatments will target relieving the pressure in your sinuses so decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal decongestants are often prescribed. It is only recommended to take inhaled decongestants for up to three days because any longer use can cause your symptoms to worsen. For extreme cases, sinus surgery or in-office balloon sinuplasty is recommended.


Facial tenderness that includes pain in the sinuses or ears and occasional facial swelling are usually signs of Sinusitis (sinus infection). People with sinusitis also tend to have a fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, and cloudy discolored postnasal drainage.

Sinusitis is usually triggered by the common cold or allergies, it causes the tissues in your sinuses to become inflamed and filled with fluid which can lead to an infection. The infection then produces the fever, postnasal nasal discharge and painful facial tenderness associated with sinus infections.


People suffering from Sinusitis are often given antibiotics for 10 to 14 days to combat the infection causing it. If 10-14 days of antibiotics fail to resolve the infection, a balloon sinuplasty procedure or sinus surgery can cure the sinusitis part from antibiotics decongestants are also prescribed alleviate pressure in the sinuses and in some cases a nasal saline wash is also suggested.

Deviated Septum

If you have facial pressure or nasal congestion associated with difficulty breathing, especially through the nose, you might be suffering from a deviated septum. A deviated septum can cause other problems such as nosebleeds, snoring, and dryness in one nostril. Another tale tell sign of this condition is having one nostril that is easier to breathe through than the other.

A deviated septum can be a congenital defect from birth or can be caused later on in life due to an injury affecting the nose. The septum is a piece of cartilage separating the two nostrils in the center of your nose, so whenever there is an extreme unevenness in your septum that affects the nostrils, it is considered a deviated septum. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, more than 80 percent of septums are deviated to some degree, but they only require medical attention when it affects a person’s quality of life.


Treatments for a deviated septum depend on the severity of the deviation, in severe cases, sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty is usually recommended. In less serious cases, however, treatments focus on lessening the symptoms caused by the deviation such as decongestants, nasal strips, nasal steroid sprays and antihistamines.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions on any of these conditions or are suffering from the symptoms detailed above, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Kuperan, a board certified nose and sinus surgeon, rhinologist and ENT specialist. You can contact him at (713) 791-0700 about any questions, concerns or to schedule a consultation.

For convenience, you can also book a consultation online.

We’re here to help

If you are frustrated by frequent sinus infections, persistent nasal congestion, or other sinus symptoms, Dr. Arjuna Kuperan and the team at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus can help. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your consultation.

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