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The Underlying Causes of Sinus Problems

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The Underlying Causes of Sinus Problems

Whether it is regular colds or acute sinusitis – chances are you have dealt with sinus issues at some point in your life. It is a common illness and modern medicine tries to focus on treating the uncomfortable sinus pressure or other symptoms, but to really recover from sinus problems you have to address whatever is causing the issue. Here are a few of the most common causes of sinus issues.

1.     Viruses

This probably won’t be surprising to many, but most colds start out as viruses which cause swelling in the nasal passages which can cause blockages in the holes that need to drain. This is why antibiotics don’t work to truly address most sinus issues.

2.     Allergies

Of course any swelling of nasal passages can lead to chronic sinusitis. People who are plagued by allergies are often also plagued with sinus infections. Studies have even shown that individuals with allergies will typically have a more extensive sinusitis than someone who simply contracts a sinus infection due to a cold.

3.     Bacterial Infections

If a cold lasts longer than about a week, it is extremely likely that bacteria has joined the mix and is now prolonging your illness. Bacterial infections are rarely the cause of sinus infections. However a bacterial infection can drastically lengthen your illness and create a more challenging recovery.

4.     Nasal Polyps

These are small growths in your nasal passages that typically do not cause issues unless they grow in such a way that they block your sinus cavities and trap mucus and bacteria in, which can cause painful sinus infections.

5.     Irritating Pollutants

Perfumes, smoke, colognes and other strong odors or air pollutants can be especially harmful to individuals who suffer from allergies or asthma. These pollutants can provoke coughing and sneezing which can lead to swelling of your nasal passages. These external pollutants should be avoided as much as possible if you are someone who suffers from acute or chronic sinusitis.

6.     Regular altitude changes

Whether you are a pilot or someone who enjoys regular diving, the constant changes in altitude and pressure will undoubtedly have an effect on your sinus cavities. Divers need to be especially mindful of the potential harm from diving into chlorinated pools. Chlorine can aggravate sensitive sinus tissues and deeply irritate your nasal lining which can easily lead to infections. Frequent flyers are probably already familiar with the potential side-effects of reduced air pressure. Not only can it cause pesky headaches, it can also cause excess sinus build up and lessen your drainage.

7.     Fungal Infections

Though this is a more uncommon reason, it can still cause serious issues for individuals suffering from sinus problems. When your immune system is weakened, fungus can grow under the right circumstances. Typically fungus will grow in moist, dark places (like nasal cavities).

8.     Nasal Abnormalities

People who were born with narrow nasal passages, deviated septum and even cleft palates often suffer from painful sinus issues due to blockages.

In conclusion, there are countless possible causes of nasal issues and sinusitis. But these are some of the most common you may deal with. Almost all of these issues can be effectively addressed through holistic, non-surgical means such as acupuncture and craniosacral therapy.


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