According To The Mayo Clinic Chronic Sinusitis Could Be Caused By Mold!
Approximately five percent of Canadians are affected by sinusitis. Sinusitis affects more Canadians than heart disease and asthma.
Acute sinusitis is caused by bacterial infections that usually last a month or less. Conversely, chronic sinusitis lasts three months or longer. Signs of sinusitis include the following:
- Facial and/or teeth pain
- Tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead
- Sinus pressure or congestion
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Loss of the sense of smell or taste
- Sinus headache
From a treatment perspective, most patients are offered anti-biotics, which may be effective on acute sinusitis because the medication can target the bacterial cause. However, this medication is not effective for chronic sinusitis patients because it does not address the actual cause (explained below) of the problem. There are many over-the-counter drugs also available which do provide some temporary relief, but are not long term solutions because they do not reduce the inflammation which is causing the discomfort.
Fungus Is The Cause of Chronic Sinusitis
Medications haven’t worked for chronic sinusitis because we didn’t know what the cause of the problem was. Fungus allergy was thought to be involved in less than ten percent of cases. Our studies indicate that, in fact, fungus is likely the cause of nearly all of these problems. And it is not an allergic reaction, but an immune reaction. This is a potential breakthrough that offers great hope for the millions of people who suffer from this problem. We can now begin to treat the cause of the problem instead of the symptoms. Finally we are on the trail of a treatment that may actually work.
This conclusion was based on a research study of 210 patients with chronic sinusitis. The Doctors collected mucus samples from the patients’ noses and discovered fungus in 96 percent of the patients. In addition, they identified 40 different kinds of fungi, averaging out to 2.7 types per patient.
Further research was done on 101 of these patients by removing nasal polyps. What they found were eosiniphils, which are which blood cells activated by the immune system in the nasal tissue of the patients. The Doctors believe that this discovery shows that the body’s immune system is sending the eosinophils to attack the fungi which is what is causing the irritation and inflammation of the membranes of the nose. For this reason, they do not believe that traditional treatments work because they do not address the root cause of the problem, fungi, which will continue to irritate the nose membranes.
What You Can Do If You Suffer!
We can now begin to treat the cause of the problem instead of the symptoms. (Dr. Eugene Kern, Mayo Clinic, ear, nose and throat specialists)
Mold is everywhere, meaning that fungal spores are in all the air we breath, which is a concern for chronic sinusitis patients because this is the cause of the problem. The Mayo Clinic is pursuing ongoing research to one day find medications that can control the fungus causing the sinusitis.
There is some hope presented by a medical procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) which is performed in outpatient surgical facilities under local anesthetic. The purpose of this procedure is to widen the sinus cavity to allow for better sinus drainage and function. The maximum time the procedure takes is 45 minutes and is accomplished by guiding a catheter-based balloon into one or several sinuses. The widening of the sinus cavity is accomplished by dilating the balloon.
Chronic sinusitis patients should also try to limit their exposure to mold spores, which can be a challenge when you are outside. Pay attention to the weather, particularly air quality alerts that report high levels of spores and pollen and limit outdoor activities. With respect to your home environment, you have greater control, meaning you want to ensure that your indoor air quality is optimal for long term health, particularly since the likely cause of chronic sinusitis is mold. Here are some tips:
- Maintain healthy humidity levels, 30% to 50% to minimize moisture and pevent mold growth.
- If you have mold, ensure that the root cause of the problem, ie. the moisture source is first fixed, and then hire a professional to remove the mold.
- Ensure that you HVAC system is functioning properly and circulating clean, healthy air. Yearly maintenance and inspections by a professional is highly recommended.
If you suffer from asthma, sinusitis, or other respiratory ailments, call a professional mold inspector to determine if you have a mold problem. If you do, the short term cost to remove the mold will be minor compared to the long term health benefits you will gain. Questions? We are here to help. Call, 1-403-978-7978, or send us an e-mail.
— MSZ Restoration (@mszrestoration) August 26, 2015
- Bad Allergies? You Could Have Sinusitis
- Mayo Clinic Study Implicates Fungus As Cause Of Chronic Sinusitis
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Research on Chronic Sinusitis