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Understanding sinus pressure

Otolaryngologist says pain is generally a nerve issue

March 14, 2024

IN THE NEWS: Sinuses, the spaces surrounding the nasal cavity, produce mucus that guards against pathogens and irritants in the air. When they become irritated, the sinus pressure pain can momentarily stop people in their tracks.

woman's world logo white ww on red backgroundUCI Health otolaryngologist Dr. Hamid Djalilian tells Woman’s World that the pressure often results from a blockage that keeps mucus from draining out of the sinuses. The pressure, he says, does not actually originate in the sinuses. Instead, in general, it’s caused by a nerve issue.

“Think of sinus pressure as a very mild form of migraine where the trigeminal nerve that causes migraines is mildly stimulated and creates a pressure sensation in the head and face.”

Djalilian is an otolaryngologist in UCI Health Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Services and a professor of neurotology and skull base surgery at UCI School of Medicine. His expertise is in both routine ear conditions as well as hearing loss, balance disorders and facial nerve paralysis. Djalilian is also an expert complex ear and skull base surgeon.

In addition to a busy clinical practice, Djalilian conducts research in several areas related to cochlear implants, acoustic neuroma, and chronic ear disease. He has developed several innovative devices and new procedures for treating complex ear, facial nerve and skull base disorders. The Orange County Medical Association has recognized him as a Physician of Excellence every year since 2012.

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