Causes of Sinus Allergies and Infection: Understanding the Connection of Bacteria and Fungal Sinusitis

By Donald Dennis, M.D., F.A.C.S. –  April 19, 2012

Did you know that over 50 million people in the US suffer from recurrent sinus infections? They are spending in excess of $90 billion dollars annually to treat sinusitis. Which is the most common chronic illness in America, in fact sinusitis is more common than heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, or orthopedic impairment. (See the graph below)

A sinus infection grows out of Sinus allergies that can be caused by dust, trees, grass, weeds, and even foods. But the most common allergen for recurrent sinus infections is mold, which is a type of fungus. Mold triggers 93% of the cases and it is the most destructive to sinus tissue. Often it cannot be controlled long term by antihistamines, steroids, repeated use of antibiotics, or surgery. The reason for this is simple. The direct cause of the chronic sinusitis can be overlooked and not treated.

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The exact mechanism of the cause of chronic sinus infections was discovered in 1999 by the Mayo Clinic. Mayo found that when they took the white blood cells of normal people and incubated them with mold, the white cells did not react. However, they found the white blood cells in 90% of people with chronic sinusitis reacted to mold by secreting inflammatory chemical called Interleukins. These chemicals can cause inflammation not just in the sinuses but in any part of the body. That’s why many sinus suffers can have fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fibromyalgia, memory and concentration problems, food allergies, bloating, gas, diarrhea, hormone disruption, acid reflux, and other complaints.

Mold not only causes Interleukin inflammation, but it also ruptures white blood cells called eosinophils. When eosinophil cells rupture they release caustic proteins to kill the mold and as a by-product of the process burn pits into the sinus lining. The pits act as a trap for bacteria which causes the infection, pain, and swelling in the sinuses that is called Chronic Sinusitis.You should know that treating sinusitis with antibiotics is usually helpful for a short time because it does eliminate the existing bacteria and allows the body to heal from the infection. However, if the exposure to mold is on going the pitting of the sinus tissue never stops making the reoccurrence of infection inevitable.

Mold not only causes immune reactions it can release in the air over 400 different toxins which are toxic to everyone. These Mycotoxins can cause damage to DNA and cell protein synthesis, disrupting every system in the human body especially the nervous system. Some people can become profoundly sick while others in the same house will just have some fatigue, which is a symptom of an immune systems slow destruction that can lead to a number of diseases including cancer.

There is so much more to sinusitis than the occasional running nose. It causes can cause misery for some, but can be detrimental to all. To avoid all of its maladies and gain control over your disease it is very important to remove the mold from both your body and your environmental air.