Tackling the causes of sinusitis
Bacteria and sinusitis go hand in hand right? Well at least that is what most physicians and the conventional medical system wants you to believe is most common causes of sinusitis. With over 35 million people suffering from sinusitis and an estimated billion medical visits attributed to it, the antibiotic industry makes a fortune alone on their prescriptions for sinusitis. But the shocking truth is that pathogenic bacterial infections can only be documented at the cause of 15% of sinusitis cases. So then what are the other causes of sinusitis?
The largest group of people suffering from sinusitis fall into the allergy category, where some environmental pollen, dust or irritant cause the cells lining the sinus to be irritated and secrete excessive mucus, the beginning of sinusitis. There are actually two types of allergenic reactions that people can suffer from, being mediated by separate parts of the immune system.
The first is allergies mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE). This is where most of the conventionally trained physicians focus their time on, and it is a large part of the allergy sinusitis group. IgE mediates what is known as mast cell degranulation, releasing histamine that increases mucus secretion, causes tissue swelling and is responsible for most other initial sinusitis symptoms. If it continues eventually the tissue because so irritated that lesions and superimposed bacterial infections can actually occur. This is why many people do find some relief from antibiotics, but again, they quickly fall back into the sinusitis symptoms because the cause, in this case allergies, was not treated.
Of course avoiding the allergen is important but in today's age it is nearly impossible. The best thing to start though is in your home, changing air filters, cleaning out your duct work at least once a year and using HEPA filters when possible. New research has pointed to the use of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) drops as effective ways of totally eliminating IgE allergies. Most studies show that within a year of starting SLIT, allergies have significantly dropped and many have experienced sinusitis relief. It is an area of ongoing research so most physicians are still learning about them and rely more heavily on anti-histamine drugs and injection therapy. Both can help but are temporary fixes.
Another allergenic group often not accounted for are those mediated by immunoglobulin G (IgG). These are classified as delayed-hypersensitivity reactions, which means after exposure to the offending allergen the symptoms don't appear for 24-48 hours. This makes it difficult to detect and often confused many conventional physicians. The interesting thing is that most IgG allergens are foods, dairy being at the top of the list. There are some tests to detect IgG allergies but the research is still ongoing and the testing can be inaccurate depending on the lab. I suggest trying to eliminate dairy for a few weeks first to see if you get any symptomatic relief. If not then visit a practitioner that can at least check to see if you are an IgG sinus sufferer.
Lastly are viruses, medically termed upper respiratory tract viral infections. We've all experienced this, a cold that causes our nose to run, slight congestion and maybe a little bit of a fever. This can predispose the nasal passages for sinusitis. All it takes is a slight additional irritation such as exposure to an irritant or in some cases decongestants. The best thing to do if you suffer from viral sinusitis, taking immune boosting herbs such as Echinacea, Elderberry and Vitamin C. Of course studies say the best way to avoid viral infections is washing hands.