Congestion In The Sternum & Sinusitis

Sinusitis and chest congestion can be caused by viruses.

Chest congestion and sinusitis may have similar causes like viruses, bacterial infection, allergies, pollutants or asthma according to They also may have completely different causes like lung cancer and nasal polyps. Congestion in the sternum can cause coughing, pain, and achiness. With sinusitis, you may have pain and congestion in different parts of your face, head and into your chest. Chest congestion can be the result of sinusitis, but sternum congestion is not the cause of sinusitis.

Sternum Congestion

The sternum is a bone in the middle of the chest. It protects the heart and along with the ribs creates the ribcage. Chest pain or congestion is a sign that something is wrong. Yet they can happen as a result of injury, anxiety, overexertion, cardiac issues, rib malfunction, lung issues and infections.

Usually, sternum congestion is associated with a feeling of heaviness, difficulty taking a deep breath, coughing or chest pain. Determining the cause of your congestion is important and may require medical diagnosis.


Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses with multiple causes, according to the Sinus Info Center. Typically, the maxillary sinuses (near cheekbones) are most affected, but any of the sinuses (frontal, maxillary, ethmoid or sphenoid) might be swollen. Although sinusitis will affect everyone somewhat differently, there are some typical symptoms.

You might feel like your head is heavy or congested, or it is difficult to think clearly. You could have a blocked or runny nose with or without post-nasal drip (mucus going down the back of your throat). Also, eye or cheekbone pain, facial swelling or tenderness, headaches and a fever might occur. According to TeensHealth, even bad breath can be a sign of sinusitis.

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Respiratory Infections and Chest Congestion

You can have an upper respiratory infection (flu or a cold) that mostly affects head, nose and throat. Lower respiratory infections (bronchitis or pneumonia) can affect the windpipe, lungs and chest, according to the Merck Manuals Online.

Since both upper and lower respiratory infections can cause coughing, you could have chest congestion with either. Post-nasal drip might also lead to chest congestion. Sinusitis is different than a respiratory infection.

Respiratory Infections Causing Sinusitis

According to the Sinus Info Center, respiratory infections of any kind might involve the sinuses or lead to sinusitis. So if you start out with an upper or lower respiratory infection, it could lead to either viral or bacterial sinusitis. This would mean that the chest congestion may be a symptom first before the sinus issues actually begin.

Sinusitis leading to chest congestion

Also, sinusitis may lead to chest congestion. The more mucus that drips down the back of the throat or causes you to cough, the more likely you will have chest congestion. According to Sinus Pro, sinus problems can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia, both of which cause chest congestion. If sinusitis comes first, you might have head pressure, facial pain, stuffiness and fatigue first before the chest congestion develops.