Do you constantly struggle with headaches? Do you tire too quickly or have you been noticing lately your breath smells badly? If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, then you might be suffering from sinusitis which is the medical name for an infection in the sinuses. Many people do not understand the real causes of sinus infection. This article seeks to expose these facts but before we continue, we should have a little idea of what sinuses are.
What Are Sinuses?
Sinuses are tiny holes or cavities in the human skull that connects the nostrils to the nasal passages. There are four sets of these sinuses in every human skull (although some very rare people possess an extra sinus) and they are: the maxillary sinuses (located in the cheekbone), the ethmoid sinuses (located behind the nose bridge), the sphenoid sinuses (located behind the forehead and eyes) and the frontal sinuses (located directly in front of the brain).
Job of the Sinuses in the body
Before going further into the causes of sinusitis, let’s learn a little of how important sinuses are to the human body.
- Helps us sound better: The sinus cavities lead into the skull so when we make a sound, they allow this sound to resonate in the skull creating a clearer version of the sound.
- Helps reduce the weight of the skull: It is believed that the sinuses help to lighten the weight of the skull on our neck bone.
- Filters the air we take in: The walls of sinuses are usually lined with mucus that helps to trap particles in the air such as germs, dusts and any other unwanted particles. These sinuses have tiny brush-like projections that help sweep these unwanted particles down the throat leaving the sinuses clean. This process is constantly repeated for as long as a human lives.
Fungi (a.k.a. yeast, rust, mold, mildew, mushrooms) are the “undertaker and the ecologist” of life. Their job is to decay all forms of life back to the basic elements. Nothing can stop the fungi from doing their job except “host defense mechanisms”, meaning “how healthy are you?” Most patients with end-stage cancer and AIDS end up with serious fungal infections. Many other people probably suffer from fungal infections that are undiagnosed. According to several good studies, 50% of the people with systemic fungal infections do not have an immune compromised status, like cancer, AIDS, steroids, or such. This food can help improve your sinusitis.
Causes of Sinus Infection
When the membrane (brush-like projections) lining the walls of the sinus gets inflamed due to several factors that will be discussed soon, it blocks the free flow of mucus and air thus trapping those already in the sinus and creating a breeding ground for bacteria and other infections. This infection of the sinus is what is termed sinusitis.
There are two types of sinusitis: Acute Sinusitis which generally lasts only for a few weeks and Chronic Sinusitis which can persist up to 12 weeks (even more) and always keeps reoccurring.
There are symptoms that signifies the presence of sinusitis, below are some of them:
- Blocked nose
- Poor sense of smell
- Unusual tiredness
- Bad breath also called Halitosis, etc
There are a number of the causes of sinusitis. In a study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1998 and published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (vol.74, p.877, 1999), Dr. Jens Ponikau and colleagues found that 96% of the 212 chronic sinusitis patients assessed were actually suffering from a fungal infection in the sinuses, not bacterial infection, as had been assumed for the past 50 years by medical experts.
The main cause of sinusitis is fungal infection, but toxins can worsen sinus problems.
- Fungi: Fungi grows in the sinuses. Fungi usually thrive in a cold and dark environment which is typical of the sinuses. Those with strong body immune system hardly have fungi growing in their sinuses, it occurs mostly in humans with very weak immune system.
- Viruses: Majority of the time when you visit your doctor because of a sinus infection, they tell you the common cold is the problem. The common cold is the most common reason for inflammed sinusitis and a cold itself is caused by a virus which causes the membrane lining the sinus to swell and as a result blocks the free flow of air and mucus. Treat this type of sinusitis exactly the same way you treat a flu. (e.g. regular washing of hands and abstinence from cold environments)
- Bacteria: When a cold blocks the free flow of air and mucus, you should try and treat it to free up the passage way else the trapped mucus will become the perfect ground for bacteria to grow on. Bacterial infection complicates the sinus infection making its treatment somewhat more complicated than just treating flu and cold.
- Thick mucus: When the mucus in the sinus becomes excessively thick which might be because its water quantity has been reduced or is being dried by an external factor such as a disease (e.g. cystic fibrosis) or medication, it tends to disturb the drainage of both air and itself from the sinus.
- Air pollution: A lot of people who are allergic to dusts, strong perfumes, and other form of air pollution usually suffer from sinusitis as the smell or substances find their way into their sinuses causing an irritation which results in its inflammation.
- Swimming: When swimming in pools, always resist the urge to stay in the water longer than necessary as the chlorine in it will surely finds its way to your sinuses and irritate the lining walls to cause inflammation. Diving into the pool isn’t also a good practice as the pressure can force water into your sinuses which will also cause irritation and inflammation.
- Smoking: This is another good reason to quit smoking if you are a regular smoker. Although smokers are more at risk as their natural sinus cleaning system has been damaged by their constant inhaling of smoke, non-smokers who are always around smokers may also suffer from sinusitis because they inhale the smoke also. Avoid inhaling any kind of smoke at all cost as it irritates the sinus and causes it to inflame thereby blocking the pathways.
- Excessive use of decongestants: Nasal decongestants are prescribed for treating sinusitis but when they are often not necessary and frequently over used. The body becomes accustomed to their effects and the sinuses gradually swells again giving rise to a type of condition called rebound nasal congestion.
- Polyps: These are tiny growths that can be found in the sinus; they can block the sinus and prevents the free flow of air mucus.
Sinusitis can be treated using natural and homeopathic methods which include steam inhalation, decongestant sprays and tablets, warm compress and nasal irrigation.
Sinus Cleanser is a natural homeopathic solution that can be used everyday. Sinus Cleanser solution alleviates the underlying causes of sinus problems, not simply suppress them as do many other products do.