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Are sinus infections preventable?

By November 12, 2008 - 2:54pm
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With winter here, or practically here, I know I am about to face sinus infections - yet again.

I get several, every year. They are painful and slow to get better.

Is there any way these can be avoided or if you are prone to them, are they just inevitable?


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Chiropractors have traced the nerves of the upper neck showing they have control of sinus valves and drainage. So a slightly misaligned neck can put stress on the nerves and negatively affect the sinuses or even cause lower immunity in the body.
Barring any physicals structures in the sinus (such as polyps, etc), chiropractic will make an improvement on the function of your body and hopefull get better drainage!

November 19, 2008 - 8:21pm

Thank you SO much for all this information, I read it all with great interest!

That recipe sounds a bit unappetizing but it might be worth a shot to ease the pain of sinus infections - they are quite the beast. Funnily enough, I have no allergies that I know of.

Thanks again!

November 14, 2008 - 3:28pm

ScooterGirl: Every infection is preventable when the Immune System is ready and strong. Unfortunately stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, environmental toxins, etc have caused our bodies to function below optimal levels. So the key to prevention is to arm the Immune System with the tools to protect the invader germs of the season. Sinus infections can be prevented by maintainig a year-round intake of Vitamin C (1,000 to 2,000 mg per day)among other natural supplements, foods high in antioxidants, etc. I found an interesting recipe for you called: "Jean's Sinus Congestion Recipe" Note this is for "congestion" and not to treat infections but it may work to prevent the infection. If you are brave here it is:

Add 1 cup tomato juice,
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic,
1/2 tsp of hot sauce,
1 tsp lemon juice,
and a pinch or two of celery salt for flavor.

Heat ingredients and drink hot."

I have also found this article from the CNN website on a report from the Mayo Clinic which concluded that most chronic sinus infections are the result of fungus in the gut. This vicious cycle may be the result of overuse of antibiotics which are known to kill the good floral bacteria thus causing fungal yeast overgrowth throughout the body including the sinuses!

I reprinted the article here for you.

Fungus causes most chronic sinusitis, researchers say
The Mayo Clinic Breakthrough

(CNN) -- "Fungus may be the cause of almost all cases of the most frequently reported chronic disease in the United States, sinusitis, instead of only a few as previously thought. And that may be the reason millions of sinus sufferers do not find relief from antibiotics and nasal sprays, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

"We were able to find fungus which was never thought to be there in almost every case of chronic sinusitis," said Mayo Clinic's Dr. Jens Poinkau.

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membranes of the nose and sinuses. Nearly 37 million Americans suffer from it. Sinusitis commonly causes chronic headaches, runny nose, nasal congestion and a diminished sense of smell and taste.

Fungus and mold spores are present in the air and are breathed in all the time. The Mayo Clinic research team looked at 210 patients with sinusitis and discovered more than 40 different kinds of fungi in their nasal passages.

"The amazing thing is that also the inflammation which leads to chronic sinusitis was there in a reaction to the fungus," said Poinkau. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat specialist in New York, said he was not surprised by the findings.

It was previously known that fungus caused some cases of sinusitis, he said. "The problem is that until recently, when technology improved in our laboratory, we weren't able to culture out the fungus. So now we get better fungal cultures, and we're now getting fungus on more and more of our patients," Josephson said. Now that the fungus problem has been identified, researchers hope to develop better treatments to fight it and to control the body's sensitivity to it.

"The problem is that patients are sensitive to the fungus. And until we find something to change the DNA of that person, or the genetics of that person, change their sensitivity to the fungus, they are always going to be sensitive to that fungus," said Josephson. While research into chronic sinusitis continues, pharmaceutical companies are setting up clinical trials to test medications to control the fungus. They estimate it will be two years before any treatments are available."

Interesting that the doctors take the tack of expecting to find a way to control the fungus through drugs. Why not eradicate it at the source? That's what we are going to suggest. But what is the source of this fungus? Why do you have it in the first place?

For many reasons including the use of antibiotics and our love of sugary foods and drinks, yeast has overgrown and gone wild in our bodies. more

Many people live with this Candida yeast overgrowth and don't know it, never heard of it, have no idea what it is.

But if you have chronic sinus blockage, drainage or pain and have taken antibiotics in your lifetime you most likely are dealing with a fungal overgrowth in your digestive tract which easily spreads throughout the body.

November 13, 2008 - 10:29pm

I'm in the same boat, as I suffer with severe allergies and am more prone to sinus infections.

I've heard a lot of good things about nasal irrigation, such as the Neti Pot, helping to keep the nasal passages moist (as mentioned from Diane). have you considered trying that? I've been thinking about it, but haven't made the leap to try it yet.

I am hoping this year, by keeping my allergies "in check", that this will help with prevention, too. (I hate taking so much medication, but the only combination I've found to work with my allergies is a prescription antihistamine, nasal antihistamine spray and nasal steroid spray).

November 13, 2008 - 2:29pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Jala-neti and neti pots are not so much about keeping the nasal passages moist, but rather clearing away mucus, reducing inflammation (when hypertonic solutions are used) and for those with allergies, flushing out the allergens.

July 9, 2009 - 8:42am

ScooterGirl, my husband seems to get a sinus infection every winter too. My sympathies to both you and your sinuses.

When I went looking for information on how to prevent sinus infections, one of the first things I found was a video on ABC News' web site from Dr. Ralph Metson, a sinus specialist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. His answer:

"Sinus infections can best be prevented by preventing the initial swelling of the nose and membranes that line the sinuses, which predispose one to a sinus infection. Typically that means reducing your exposure to viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infections and colds. Good hygiene, hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, is an excellent way to reduce those infections, particularly during the cold and flu season."

OK, I thought, that's interesting about preventing swelling of the nose and membranes. Let's see if we can find out more about that.

Here are some tips from sinuswars.com on preventing sinus infections:

-- If you have allergies, you are predisposed to inflammation in the nose. Be sure you treat your allergies to try to keep them at bay.
-- Keep the air moist in your home; it makes your sinuses drain better. If it's dry, take hot showers and inhale the steam.
-- Try to avoid polluted environments, they irritate the nasal passages.
-- Don't smoke, of course, and try to stay away from second-hand smoke.
-- Drink plenty of water, which helps thin the mucus and prevent congestion.
-- Minimize dairy products, which actually thicken the mucus, giving you less room in your nasal passages.
-- Avoid swimming and diving -- chlorine can irritate the nasal passages, and diving can force water into the sinuses from the nasal passages.

Fighting allergies seems to be key. Here's a page from Better Nutrition that discusses the allergen's role in this:


I was surprised to find that not only can cold and flu viruses set off sinusitis, almost anything that causes the nasal passages to narrow can start the chain reaction that leads to a sinus infection. Swollen nasal passages can trap bacteria and allow them to multiply and cause infection.

A couple other interesting things from the Medical College of Wisconsin:

"Medicines, too, can set off a nasal reaction with accompanying sinusitis. For example, intolerance to aspirin and other related non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can be associated with sinusitis in patients with asthma or nasal polyps (small growths on the mucous membrane lining of the sinuses).

"Sometimes, fungal infections can cause acute sinusitis. Although these organisms are abundant in the environment, they usually are harmless to healthy people, indicating that the human body has a natural resistance to them. Fungi, such as Aspergillus and Curvularia, can cause serious illness, in people whose immune systems are not functioning properly. Some people with fungal sinusitis have an allergic-type reaction to the fungi."

Here is their page:


It sounds like with care, avoiding a sinus infection this year might be possible. Good luck! Let us know!

November 13, 2008 - 9:40am
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