You probably have some idea of what a sinus infection is because almost everyone has had at least one or more in their life. It may start off simply as a cold which progressively gets worse with headaches and pains in the sinus cavities of your face. A course of antibiotics and even a decongestant usually works to clear the problem. However, what if you have recurrent sinus infections that seem particularly resistant to regular forms of treatment?
Potential Causes of Recurrent Sinus Infections
You know you have recurrent sinus infections if you get three or more per year. Typically, these infections seem repetitive because a previous infection never really cleared itself up. While many people with allergies seem to be predisposed to sinus infections, the fact of the matter is that anyone can develop them.
Other than an infection that has never really cleared up, structural abnormalities are another reason why you may suffer recurrent sinus infections. A deviated septum (the bony protrusion inside the nose that separates the nasal passages) is a cause as are deformities such as bone spurs inside the sinus cavities. A CT scan is the most common way to find out if these structural issues are the likely cause of your recurrent sinus infections. Enlarged adenoids, polyps in the nasal passageways and even tumors and cleft palate are all possibilities too.
A faulty immune system is another reason why your sinus infections may be recurring. Immunodeficiency issues with such illnesses like cystic fibrosis, AIDS, myeloma, hypothyrodism and even diabetes can contribute to recurrent sinus infections. Gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) can also contribute to repeated infections as can allergies to fungus.
Treatment Options for Recurrent Sinus Infections
When it comes to structural deformities of the nose, surgery is the best way to help put a stop to those recurrent sinus infections. A deviated septum can be straightened and bone spurs can be ground down so there is nothing impeding the drainage of the sinus cavities during an illness. Plus, when a person has recurrent sinus infections, the drainage hole in the sinus cavities is often damaged and surgery can correct this problem as can the removal of polyps, adenoids and tumors.
If you have a disease which affects your immune system, you will have a harder time dealing with recurrent sinus infections. Only by consulting with an immunologist might you find some alternative treatment options. With GERD, if you can find a treatment plan to keep your reflux problems at a minimum, you can also likely lessen your chances of another sinus infection.
When you have exhausted all possibilities like structural deformities and other health issues contributing to your recurrent sinus infections, you just might have an allergy to fungus. In about 10 per cent of recurrent sinus infection cases, some types of fungal infection are the culprit and guess what? When you take antibiotics like amoxicillin, which is made from a mold, you are actually exacerbating the problem!
With anti-fungal treatment in conjunction with a saline flush of the nasal passages, you will likely see relief from recurrent sinus infections. Of course, only a doctor can make this diagnosis but you can definitely suggest the possibility during your next appointment.
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