Sinus infections are more prevalent than most physicians realize. Sinusitis may have already replaced the common cold as our most "frequent" illness. In a research study performed at the University of Virginia in 1993, students who thought they had a cold were evaluated with CT scans, the most used diagnostic test for sinusitis. The scans revealed that 87 percent did not have a simple cold, but in fact had a sinus infection!
Other researchers claim chronic sinusitis affects 17 percent of the adult population of the U.S. Chronic sinusitis causes long-term nasal congestion, production of thick mucus, loss of sense of smell and creates an environment for opportunistic bacterial infections that exacerbate those symptoms. Often physicians treat sinus infections with antibiotics with mixed results. But perhaps you've heard about the work with fungal organisms at Mayo Clinic and the University of Buffalo. Dr. David Sherris and his team championed this discovery back in 1999. His team showed that "fungal organisms were present in the mucus of 96 percent of patients who had surgery for chronic sinusitis, and that inflammatory cells were clumped around the fungi, which indicated that the condition was an immune disorder caused by fungus."
These fungi cause inflammation and the thickening of healthy mucus. The average human body produces about a liter of mucus per day. Nasal mucus is clear and thin. However, during times of infection, mucus can change color to yellow or green either as a result of trapped bacteria, or due to the body's reaction to viral infection. An excessive amount of mucus is a breeding ground for bacteria and other airborne fungi. So if we can thin the mucus and apply nutrients that are antifungal and antibacterial in nature, we can treat the cause and not just the symptoms.
As Fall time approaches you may want to get your immune health in check. If you're prone to sinus infections how can you prevent them?
- If you have Fall time allergies that lead into sinus infections you must address the pH problem first
- If you tend to have recurrent bacterial infections you need to eliminate most dairy which is mucus forming
- Viral sinusitis typically causes lots of pressure with clear drainage and needs to be addressed differently without the use of antibiotics
- Overuse of antibiotics typically leads most patients into having a fungal infection in their sinus cavity which is only worsened with more antibiotics
- Find the right Doctor who knows how to treat all of these properly