Does Stress Cause Sinus Problems?

November 13, 2017

4 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

Does stress cause sinus problems? While it’s common knowledge that stress can raise your blood pressure, cause headaches and nausea, and increase your risk of having a long-term illness, few people know that there is a link between stress and sinusitis. Sinus pressure and congestion can accompany periods of stress and worsen an already uncomfortable state of being. While you may not be able to control everything that’s creating stress in your life, you can take steps to keep your sinuses clear and healthy in stressful situations.

How Anxiety and Stress May Cause Sinus Problems

Stress and anxiety can affect your sinuses indirectly by increasing your susceptibility to a range of health issues that, in turn, worsen your sinus problems.

Sustained stress can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more vulnerable to the effects of allergens, as well as germs, bacteria, viruses, infections. Some of the most common stress-related infections eat away at your cilia, which are responsible for blocking harmful bacteria from entering the body through your nose. The destruction of cilia creates the link between stress and sinusitis. Without the cilia properly in place, bacteria is now free to grow, causing your nasal sinuses to become clogged. To make matters worse, when you’re already stressed and not feeling well mentally, the added burden of untreated sinus pain can make your body even more vulnerable to potential illness.

How To Handle Stress Related Sinus Problems

It’s always in your best interest to manage your stress, but if you know that stress is a major contributor to your sinusitis, you have even more reason to do so. Exercise, proper diet, and daily breathing exercises are all healthy and effective ways to handle day-to-day stress and anxiety.

No stress management strategy is foolproof, however. So when stress-related sinus problems begin to take root, don’t waste time and let an infection set in. Instead, take these proactive steps to relieve your symptoms before they can get worse.

  • Keep nasal sprays handy. When a sinus infection is in its beginning stages, some simple over-the-counter saline nasal spray can provide valuable relief and help your body keep an infection in check.
  • Avoid known allergens. If you know that you have seasonal allergies, such as fall sinus problems, or are allergic to specific substances, do your best to avoid them during periods of high-stress. This means more than avoiding the outdoors; make sure that your indoor spaces are kept clean and free of outdoor allergens like pollen and ragweed.
  • Visit a sinus specialist. Stress-related sinus problems are typically temporary, but if you consistently suffer from symptoms of sinusitis following stress, there could be a larger issue to address. In this case, a trained sinus expert should assess your needs. Depending on the severity of your sinusitis, you could be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, an innovative new procedure that provides long-lasting relief for even the most stubborn sinus issues, regardless of stress levels.

Find Lasting Solutions to Your Stress-Related Sinus Problems at Kaplan Sinus Relief

Even to those of us who maintain the healthiest of lifestyles experience stress. If your stress is typically accompanied by painful sinus infections, you owe it yourself to find sinusitis relief. The Houston sinus experts at Kaplan Sinus Relief can assess your needs and determine the perfect treatment for you, whether you’re seeking sinus headache relief, suffering from allergy attacks, or dealing with chronic sinusitis.

As leaders of balloon sinuplasty in Houston, Kaplan Sinus Relief has helped thousands of patients regain the comfort of life without chronic sinusitis. Live beyond the stress—schedule an appointment today to discover how Kaplan Sinus Relief can help you.


4101 Greenbriar Street, Suite 320

Houston, TX 77098