Are Sinus Problems Caused By Mold?
We are so passionate about this because we know that indoor air quality can impact your health and well being. This is the reason we are constantly and consistently updating our blog with new articles and information.
Our last article explored the link between mold and asthma
The purpose of this article is to explain why researchers believe that chronic sinusitis is caused by mold.
Got Mold Concerns? Puritan Restoration specializes in mold removal. Our staff are highly educated and trained on all aspects of indoor air quality. We are experts at indoor air quality because your health and well being is our biggest concern. If you think you have mold, please give us a call, 617-527-2229 or send us an e-mail.
10 Important Facts About Sinusitis!
- Acute sinusitis is caused by bacterial infections that usually last a month or less.
- Chronic sinusitis lasts three months or longer.
- Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the membranes of the nose and sinus cavity.
- Small growths, referred to as polyps, often develop in the nasal passages of chronic sinusitis patients causing significant breathing challenges.
- 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.
- Approximately 37 million Americans or 12% of the population suffer from chronic sinusitis.
- Every week there are about 308,000 doctor visits or 16 million per year by sinusitis patients.
- Over $150 million is spent each year on prescription medications to treat sinusitis patients.
- Over $1 billion is spent each year on over-the-counter medications by sinusitis patients.
- Direct healthcare expenditures due to sinusitis cost are well over $8 billion each year.
3 Common Sinusitis Treatments!
There are three mainstream treatments currently offered to patients that suffer from sinusitis:
- Antibiotics may help acute sinusitis patients because these drugs are able to target the bacterial cause. Such drugs, however, are not effective for chronic sinusitis patients because it likely does not address the actual cause of the problem (explained below).
- 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.
- A medical procedure, Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP), is performed in outpatient surgical facilities under local anesthetic. This procedure widens the sinus cavity to allow for better sinus drainage and function.
Could Sinusitis Be Caused By Mold?
Three Mayo Clinic Doctors–David Sherris, Eugene Kern, and Jens Ponikau–believe chronic sinusitis is caused by a fungus that causes an immune reaction:
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.
The researchers studied 210 patients with chronic sinusitis, collecting mucus samples from the noses of the patients. They discovered fungus in 96 percent and identified 40 different kinds of fungi, each patient averaging 2.7 kinds.
Nasal polyps were also removed from 101 of these patients. The researchers found eosiniphils, which are a type of white blood cell activated by the body’s immune system, in the nasal tissue and mucus of the patients.
This discovery shows that in sensitive individuals, the body’s immune system is sending the eosinophils to attack the fungi, which in turn irritates the membranes of the nose. Consequently, traditional treatments do not work because they do not rid the body of the fungi that is irritating the membranes and causing the inflammation.
Since mold is found everywhere, the doctors believe that fungal spores, which become airborne and then are breathed in by the sufferers of chronic sinusitis, perpetuates their condition caused by the immune response. Further research is underway to set up trials to test medications to control the fungus.
Sinusitis Alleviation Tips!
Chronic sinusitis patients should limit their exposure to mold spores, which can be challenging when you are outside.
Monitor the weather for air quality alerts that report high levels of spores and pollen, and limit your outdoor activities.
You have greater control over your indoor environment where you can take some proactive actions to limit exposure to mold.
The number one question you need to answer is whether or not you have a mold problem in your home?
This can be determined with a mold inspection or air quality test.
In addition, here are some tips to optimize your indoor air quality for long term health:
- Maintain healthy humidity levels between 30% to 50% to minimize moisture and prevent mold growth.
- If you do find mold in your home, fix the moisture source which is the key ingredient mold needs to grow and then hire a professional to remove the mold.
- Maintain your HVAC system so that it is operating efficiently and circulating clean, healthy air. This is particular important in hotter climates where residents rely on air conditioning to reduce humidity and stay cool. You want to ensure that your air conditioner is not a source of mold contamination in your home, so yearly maintenance and professional inspections are highly recommended.
Concluding Thoughts On Mold and Sinusitis!
If you have asthma, sinusitis, or other respiratory conditions, please explore the possibility that mold may be the cause.
Medications and treatment can only be effective if it deals with the cause of the health condition.
In short, if the root cause of your health problems are mold, then the only way to get healthy is to do something about the mold concern.
Puritan Restoration are mold inspection, detection, and removal experts. If you think you have mold and are concerned that it is impacting your health, please call us, 617-527-2229, or send us an e-mail. We look forward to serving you! 🙂
Mold and Sinusitis Article Sources
- Mayo Clinic Study Implicates Fungus As Cause Of Chronic Sinusitis
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Research on Chronic Sinusitis
- Is Mold Causing Your Sinus Problems?
- Sinusitis Overview