How weather affects the sinuses

For many years I have suffered weather related issues with my body.  Mainly my sinuses.  I’ve searched high and low for answers and there doesn’t seem to be much out there on the subject.

Every approaching low or high pressure system triggers pressure in my sinuses and I have now learned that I can indeed forecast the weather with my head.  My cheeks under my eyes are pressurized, my ears feel the pressure and often times my teeth hurt.  Upper and lower teeth.  I asked my dentist about this once and she says there are nerves that run along the jaw.  When sinus pressure is present, it affects the upper teeth because of the pressure on that upper nerve.  Which in turn can affect the lower nerve.   From experience I can say that the pain in my teeth is not unlike the feeling of needing a root canal.

Some people only feel the barometric pressure changes when flying, or diving.   Some of us feel every day weather changes.  Whether it’s in our bones, our joints, sinuses or in headaches.

Sinus pressure can be caused by a few things.  Namely allergies and the weather.  Allergens cause the body to produce histamines.  These are the body’s natural defense system and they ward off the bacteria and things causing our allergies.  They are what causes inflammation.   (for instance when your skin is sunburned, the redness is the histamine)

Then there are the weather fronts.  In a perfect world we’d all just automatically adjust to the changing pressure.   But that’s not the case.   When the pressure in your sinuses is different than the pressure in the air around us, it causes discomfort and pain until it equalizes itself.   Which can take a while.  For me it can take days.  And when there are several systems lining up and coming one after the other, it could take weeks.

The good news is there are treatments out there that can alleviate the pressure.   The most thought of way is antihistamines.  But there are a lot of natural remedies that are also effective!  Natural remedies give no side effects and they also do not lower your immune system.

You’ve heard me talk here about facial teas and steams.  This is the first quick line of action against sinus pressure.  Place a few drops of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Thyme, rosemary, tea tree or Spearmint Essential Oil into a bowl of boiled water.  Sit with your head over the bowl – a towel draped over your head to catch the scent.  Breathe in the beautiful aroma and it will help to alleviate pressure/swelling in your sinus cavities.

*Note:  You can also use dried herbs!

Use a vaporizer or run your shower getting the bathroom hot and steamy.  Then sit in the room and read a book or listen to a meditation tape or CD.  *If the water is too hot, do not get in or under the water.  Simply sitting in the room with the steam is enough!  (You CAN use essential oils in the vaporizer!)

***If you are stuck at work…don’t fret!  You can fill a mug with hot steaming water and drop in essential oils or herbs and just hold your face in front of the cup!  You can also use soups, coffee, tea or hot chocolate and at least sip something while you are getting your steam!

Watch your weather forecasts.  When you see the big ‘L’ or the big ‘H’ pressure systems or fronts coming in…be prepared.  If you know it may be coming you’ll be more likely to handle the pain and pressure.   Herbal teas can give your immune system a boost.   Try a cup or two or three a day of ginger and mint or chamomile, echinacea, calendula and lemon or any tea that suits you.

Facial massage.  Yes, you can feel better by massaging your head and scalp!  There are five points on your head to concentrate on:

The cavity located at the corner of the nostrils.
The cavity just below the corners of the eyes (near the nose)
The cheek bones
The earlobes and the area or cavity behind the earlobes below the ears.
The forehead.

Gently press and hold these points for 15-30 seconds.  Now lightly massage in a circular motion from down to up.  Do this several times a day for as long as you are feeling pressure.  Doing this gets that blood flowing in those areas.  Works great for congestion as well.

If you are congested along with the pressure, these natural remedies will help relieve congestion:

Apple cider vinegar is great for sinus infections and congestion.  Many people often take it as a preventative measure.  For instance many times a sinus infection will appear at the end of a cold or the flu.  When you are sick with one of these, drink an 1/8 c of apple cider vinegar in a 16 ounce bottle of water.   This vinegar helps the body to thin the mucus making it easier for your body to expel and recover.

Use a Neti-Pot or rinse your nasal passages with warm water and salt.  (Make it yourself:  1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water.  add a pinch of baking soda if you choose.  Pour the mixture in small amounts into a small bathroom cup.  Tilt your head back, blocking off one nostril.   Sniff in the water mixture with your open nostril.  Gently blow your nose and repeat on the other side.)

Drink lots of liquid!  Whether it’s tea or water or soup…whether it’s hot or cold…this will help break up the mucus.  Herbal teas are wonderful to drink because not only are you getting the liquid, but you are getting the immune booster.

And last but not least, when you blow your nose, blow one nostril at a time.  This will help to stop your ears from popping.

Mucus/phlegm and the color system.
Yellow:   A sign that your immune system is starting or ending the fight against the sinus infection.

Green means your infection is all full throttle.  You should visit a doctor.

Brown or Orange means the infection could be worse than you thought.  You should be seen by a doctor right away.

Colds or sinus infections generally last 10 days to 2+ weeks.   If you are treating yourself and are not feeling relief you should see a doctor.

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39 thoughts on “How weather affects the sinuses

  1. debbieNo Gravatar

    Ok we where like destined to meet today? My sinuses have been killing me for two days! I do use the nedi pod, never ever heard of the vinegar though…I will have to try that! Thanks for stopping over, following you back and glad to do so!!~


    AlmaNo Gravatar Reply:

    I use apple cider vinegar ever day, it helps tremendously with my sinuses and headaches, it truly takes away the sinus pressure and helps to expel all the mucus. The best Apple Cider Vinegar brand is Bragg.


  2. Marissa NavoneNo Gravatar

    Herbal tea leaves can be made with light or dry flowers, leafages, seeds or roots, by and large by pouring stewing H2O over the plant life parts and having them steep for a few minutes. Seeds and stems can also be stewed on a kitchen stove. The tisane is then filtered, sweetened if so wanted, and served up. Many companies produce herbal tea bags for such infusions, like ours Click Here. And also look at our points to brewing teas.


  3. Courtney LloydNo Gravatar

    there are also some alternative medicines that you can try for sinusitis. i have tried some herbal stuffs and it is good for relieving sinusitis too.””


    YvonneNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Courtney Lloyd,
    What do u take for sinusitis, I’ve tried about everything.


  4. Ashley Calhoun

    I am suffering terribly right now. And I am 9 months pregnant and cannot take much for it. I like your natural remedies. I used to use a netti pot but noticed that the water sits in my sinuses and causes more pain. But I am going ot try the steam right now. Thanks :)


  5. Judy GrannasNo Gravatar

    Thank you so much for posting this info! I’ve had terrible sinus problems for decades and always complain that my teeth, both upper and lower front, feel as though I’m wearing tight braces whenever my sinuses bother me. Doctors always say that the top teeth will hurt, but not the bottom. Well, not according to my mouth! I use an ice pack on the top of my head to alleviate the sinus pressure in my scalp and it helps to shrink the swelling.


    SheilaNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Judy Grannas,
    Yep, lowers will hurt too for sure. Since I’ve posted this an oral surgeon and another dentist both confirmed this. Like my mom says, they call it “practicing medicine” for a reason… because they are “practicing” lol. There’s a LOT of us lower jaw pain people out there – caused from pressure on the sinuses. And this post is one of the top five of my all time ranked posts, so I know it’s an issue for so many. 😀
    Thanks so much for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment.


    MomoNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Sheila, I have just started getting pressure in my front upper and front lower teeth and have had sinus problems for about 15 years. I can predict the weather as well;) Last year I had sensitivity in an upper right mid back tooth that I went to the dentist for and he said it may be from aggressive flossing. It came and went and the next year got worse so I went back. He did all the tests on the tooth and couldn’t find a problem again. So off I went. then now this past week it’s been more sensitive than ever, and I have for the past month + been battling a chronic sinus infection that’s making me crazy. I had the flu about 2 months back and coming off that I got a cold. It just morphed from flu to the longest cold ever. I have to clean out my nose 3 times a day at least and it’s not like thick mucous but it’s building up a lot (I think most of it goes into my lungs from sniffling and post nasal drip because I have had this tight tickling cough for over a month and have to keep clearing my lungs.) I can’t go anywhere without tissues. It’s nuts. Now the pressure started in my upper teeth, like something was stuck between them. I also get it in the BOTTOM teeth, mainly in the front, feeling like I have a bit of food stuck there. I also clench and grind my teeth (have a mouthguard for night time) as a nervous habit day and night. When I press on my lower front gums, I can replicate the pressure sensation I get when I am not touching them. So I mean this sinus/teeth thing is real. I was relieved to read your article that the lower teeth can be affected as well because I have had my share of all kinds of tooth and jaw pains over the years (and I have been paranoid about my heart and actually had 5 stress tests in the past two years and my heart is fine.) Anyway, back to the TEETH. It’s driving me crazy as the pressure thing is new. I also have my ears popping and crackling when I swallow (or don’t swallow) and tickling/itching in my ears, dizziness, and pressure in my face and eyes, neck and back of head and forehead.

    And look (looks outside) what do you know? It’s OVERCAST today.


    SheilaNo Gravatar Reply:

    OMGosh we’re one in the same! Crazy isn’t it??? This year so far has been VERY much worse than in the last few! I wish you the best! It’s gonna be a long summer! <3

  6. AshleyNo Gravatar

    Oh my gosh,thank you SO MUCH for this post.I’ve been suffering with sinus problem’s for YEARS now,im gonna try the steam with mint (:


  7. AndreaNo Gravatar

    I had a feeling the weather pressure made my sinuses worse! I recently started having sinus issues although it may have been occurring longer than I knew because I also suffer from migraines. My sinuses acted up from october to may, and this year is no different! I noticed after nice hot showers that would help and definitely drinking herbal teas. I have the type of sinus infection that affects my ears and swells the bridge of my nose in between my eyes. It also causes my eyes to get dry and red. Which is probably why I didn’t even know it was my sinuses because I always hear you have toothaches and cheek pain. Anyways thanks a lot for these tips! Definitely going to try them out (esp the natural remedies). I don’t like being on medication for prolonged periods of time.


  8. kathyNo Gravatar

    thanks for this, people look at me strangely when I say the cold weather front and drop in air pressure makes my sinus ache. It is nice to know I’m not the only one. I have had the tooth pain but only in the top ones thank goodness. I even went to the dentist once, he couldn’t find anything wrong and asked if I had sinus problems. Just all the time.
    After 33 years I find what works for me is staying away from dairy and gluten sugar junk food . Using clinicians MSM nasal spray every night and saline sinus rinse if blocked up.
    I use antihistamines but the body gets use to them and they loose their effect. Woke this morning and knew the weather had changed sinus pain and yes grey skies.
    I use Olbas oil a mix of essential oils good for clearing sinus or for colds in a bowl of hot water with the towel over the head.
    Also get pain if I go from warm fresh air to super cooled air conditioning.


  9. MomoNo Gravatar

    Me again, still having pressure in my teeth every day, and it’s been raining like crazy here on and off for like 2 weeks. It’s making me nuts. This whole problem started about 2 weeks ago, interesting, eh? Yesterday I tell ya, I felt like some creature was living in my sinus cavity because the pressure and weird sensations across my face and behind my nose and the way it kept moving around and changing in how it felt. My upper and bottom teeth randomly get that sensation of having a piece of food stuck in them. Once even on the bottom right, too. It doesn’t seem to matter. This morning I was ok til I accidentally mindlessly bonked my upper teeth into my lowers and that seemed to set it all off and now they all ache and feel pressure. I feel like I have braces on or something pulling my teeth together. I yawned yesterday and my top 4 or 6 teeth suddenly felt like they were all being pulled together tightly. I stopped and shut my mouth and that feeling went away but man, how SENSITIVE. Plus that bothersome tooth in the upper right has been zinging me even when I’m not eating, I just bite down and the pain shoots through it. I went to my doc and they said, “that’s a dental issue” and waved me off! The dentist told me a whole back that it’s sinuses. So what am I supposed to do? It’s supposed to rain, or was yesterday but it didn’t. I had the weirdest pains, like someone had hit me in the nose a few times this week. That weird ache right in the nose, or behind it. And it keeps moving around. It’s hard enough having these sensations in the top teeth and the pain in my face and all the pressure but the bottom teeth are involved and that’s what is really bugging me.


    SheilaNo Gravatar Reply:

    Hmmm that pain/issue sounds like you need to see the dentist. Just to be sure. They can xray your affected area and tell you if it’s a tooth or sinuses. And they can also tell you if you have a sinus infection. Better safe then sorry. Either issue – tooth or sinus infection… you can’t let either one go.


  10. JamieNo Gravatar

    I have been having sinus issues for what seems like forever now….Anytime I am out in the heat, sometimes within minutes other times within a couple of hours I can feel headaches start. I have tried every sinus medication out there including ones prescribed by a doctor…nothing seems to help. I have a neti pot that I use, steam sometimes helps relieve the pressure for a few minutes. I can put my fingers under my eyes and to each side of my nose and press a little and the pressure eases off and I can breate easier. Last Thanksgiving my left side of my face was swollen (looked like i had a football inside my cheek) and it went down after a day or two. Then a couple of weeks later the right side did the same thing. I went to the ER and they said I have celluitis. They prescribed me clindamycin (because I am allergic to just about every other antibiotic) and it seemed to get better for a month or so. I have been to a dentist and although my teeth are not in the best of shape, the dentist told me that its not abscess teeth, it is all to do with my sinuses. Over the past few months I have had what look like puss pimples on my lower jaw, they form a head and then pop (it is quite disqusting). I have researched so many websites and nothing seems to help. I do not have health care and can not afford to go in and have major work and tests done, but I’m scared at this point. What is it? What can I do differently? Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to email me at


  11. LaurenNo Gravatar

    I read this last night, and having become a recent sufferer of sinus inflammation (within the last week or so) this hits the mark on what I’m currently going through. As of current, because it’s my cheek and nasal sinuses more inflamed than the rest , I’ve been feeling pressure around the frontal area of my mouth, around the front teeth top and bottom.

    Prior to this, it was directly my left hand side that was feeling it full force, and the felt the pain more than dull pressure around my temple, ears (which was popping like mad), cheek and left hand side of my mouth. Now it’s just dull pressure. I didn’t even go through the runny nose stage either, my nose and cheeks immediately inflamed and is very dry, and depending on the atmosphere depends on the coloration of the mucus whenever I blow my nose (which is a chore to do). I’m permanently experiencing excessive mucus in my mouth which ironically is incredibly dry no matter how much I drink.

    Every so often, and especially last night, I feel like a constant pressure (as someone called it feeling like extra tight braces) around my top front teeth, but I felt no discomfort closing my mouth, it was just an irritant because I could not get back to sleep until an hour later.

    For the last few days, I’ve experimented with Piriteze (to clarify if it was allergy related) and Nurofen, the latter working more, tried naturally steaming my face, have taken more of the food (which I do eat anyway) which is suggested to help with sinuses and felt a slight difference, however I’m now resolving to see a doctor about it tomorrow, as they may be able to give something that specifically for sinus inflammation.

    It’s become a nuisance more than anything, as with my teeth being sensitive anyway, they’ve come even more sensitive and are reacting to the pressure more than anywhere else in my face :(


  12. LaurenNo Gravatar

    I found this blog last night after waking up to pressure being pressed onto my upper front teeth out of the blue. It was like as someone described as having overly tight braces, and this happened a day or two ago as well, sometimes it feels like I have things between my teeth, when I sometimes don’t.

    I’m a recently sufferer of sinus inflammation, having just began noticing the symptoms just over a week or ago or even two weeks, and I found that it was my nose and cheeks that have withheld the constant pressure with the inflammation, and it has effected my upper and lower front teeth more than the molars.

    Prior to this, I experienced my entire left hand side get affected when experienced to high pollen counts a few days ago; my teeth were on edge, my ear was popping I had aches around my temple and cheek bone and whatever pain I felt was all along my upper front teeth and it sometimes spread further back then back to its original position at the front, then I had small aches in my lower canine teeth with pressure along my lower jaw.

    I, though more common to experience it, never went through the stages of having a runny nose, it just immediately become inflamed and dry nasal mucus which did contain some hints of dry blood in it, which I discovered could be apart of viral sinus inflammation or sinitus. I have been experiencing a lot of mucus getting into my mouth though.

    I’ve also experienced tiredness, as well as light fatigue not long ago, as I have periods where I can eat, like for example savory foods like cereal or lunch, but when it comes to anything that can pasta I felt nauseous, but it’s not happening so much anymore.

    Since I have been taking Nurofen and Piritez (just in case it was allergy related), I have felt a slight relief, and all that remains is this dull pressure in my upper face and upper front teeth, which I can feel more when I sit still, lay down or lean forward.

    What this blog contains is spot on to what I’ve experienced, and concludes that it’s more common all areas of the mouth can be affected instead of the common molar teeth only assumption.

    I have coincidentally tried steaming my face a couple of days ago – prior to seeing this, and have taken the advice to intake more of the food which is said to help with sinus inflammation (which I regular eat anyway, so I’m not changing my diet in any way). I’m due to go to the doctor about the problem to see if there’s any medication I can take which directly hits the inflammation on the head.

    I suppose, as my teeth as quite sensitive anyway, my teeth have received the full hit of this sinus inflammation than anything, so therefore it’s become more of a nuisance. I have compared to the likes of tooth abscess, and it feels like nothing of the sort as I do not have discomfort when I talk or eat, or when I close my jaw and I am not in agony. It’s just a irritant which I want to go away, but considering how warm and humid the weather is, it’s not going to go away on its own that’s for sure.

    I’d like to thank you for writing this, despite this being a few years old now, as it’s truly helped with where to go next.


    LaurenNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Lauren, exposed to*


    LaurenNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Lauren, contains pasta*


    LaurenNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Lauren, regularly*


    LaurenNo Gravatar Reply:

    @Lauren, quite sensitive*


  13. LaurenNo Gravatar

    I apologise for the double post, I was having trouble sending the original response a couple of hours ago, as the page wasn’t refreshing, so I thought it would be best to try again later.


  14. SuzyNo Gravatar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! A million times over. Like you & Lauren, above, I’ve had pressure related symptoms. I actually went to the Dentist yesterday thinking that a filling from a chipped tooth had fallen out because I had such pain and throbbing around it. He examined me, took an x-ray and asked some questions and we determined it was due weather system over the weekend. I have the oils & will steam my head tonight & have already begun the massage of the points you mention. I also have the herbal teas. I found that Kava tea really helped me over the weekend!

    I’ve had this problem my entire life. I knew the sinus pressure related to barometric pressure and since I recently had spinal fusion surgery have also found out that the barometric changes impact the titanium rods in my back. Now as I’m in my mid-40’s and have had a bit more aches and pains arise I notice they took are impacted by pressure changes. I jokingly told my husband that I feel like a human barometer.

    I have to admit I was surprised that the sinus pressure felt like a cavity, but was quite relieved when the dentist told me that rather than prescribe an antibiotic that I could use the sinus rinse I have, which is similar to the procedure you describe to making your own Neti-pot.

    These suggestions help me so much, plus it’s nice to know I’m not the only one out there that is a human barometer.

    Love, light and laughter to you


  15. J.B.No Gravatar

    Thank you for the info. I have suffered with sinus problems for years. The past year allergies and pressure changes have been terrible. I use the neti pot daily and the cider vinegar. I am going to try some of your other suggestions. The morning is worse. I live in a valley where every kind of change just hangs. Any help for this condition is appreciated. I know what you are all going through. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I will be praying for you all and asking our God, who is the great physician, to touch you as well as myself.
    Thank you.


  16. Tracy O'LearyNo Gravatar

    Thank you for your tips, steam does help but when my sinuses are so blocked it only seems to relieve it for a very short time and they soon block up again. My sinuses get so bad that not only do my eyes get itchy and sore and face swells nose hurts a lot , i get blocked up in the ears my throat gets itchy and i get wheezy on the chest feels like a full on head cold with lots of mucus minus the temperature. I live in NSW Australia and at the moment we are in winter and my sinuses have been worse than ever. We haven’t had any rain for a long time, the only reason i like rain is because it clears my sinuses. I know hours before the sun will come out again because i get a very bad attack of sinus can last for 6- 8 hours especially if a lot of cloud has to clear for a sunny day and it’s even worse if it is humid. I can predict the weather i get an itchy nose when there is going to be a southerly change and my nose goes clear before rain. I get bad headaches if there is going to be a storm.
    I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago and he could tell by my x-ray that i have sinus trouble. I have been like this since a child i am now 50, do you think it is a good idea to have an operation? I also have Lupus, Diabetes type 2, under active thyroid and am going through really bad menopause for the last 12 years. So would love a permanent solution for my sinus trouble would be one less thing to go through almost every day. I have been told that the operation for the sinuses doesn’t always work, is this true?
    There is one more natural method for clearing the sinuses that i don’t think has been mentioned and that is sex :) clears the nose really well but like the steam doesn’t last too long. But now i am going through the menopause it is not working so well for me :(. I am glad i found this site it is good to hear from other people about this problem i thought i was the only one who could predict the weather.


    SheilaNo Gravatar Reply:

    Yep, there’s many of us that can predict the weather, lol… 😉 As for the operation, I’m not in the medical field, so I really don’t know and cannot give advice on that in particular. However, I know a handful of people who have had it and it didn’t work for long. I’ve also heard a side effect can be loss of smell of all things. But I honestly don’t know and have never had it myself. My suggestion would be to see an actual doctor/specialist for the sinuses. All that stuff is linked (teeth, jaw, sinus, ears, eyes) so when one is bothersome, one or more is affected. The trouble with sinuses and teeth is that the roots of the teeth oten go into the sinus cavity. Therefore when one hurts the other hurts. The task becomes determining if the sinus is making the teeth hurt… or the other way around. I’d for sure see a doctore. Good Luck!


  17. Clara RodriguezNo Gravatar

    My sinus are very bad. I’ve noticed that when their is heavy wind it bothers my sinus. I also sneeze more than 20 times a day it drives me insane !! Sometime I say I have a sneeze attacks just backs it never stops. In general my sinus are very badly. I’m gonna try to start with apple vinegar!! What else do you recomend?


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