If you suffer from frequent sinus infections, you’re not alone. Roughly 37 million people are impacted by this condition each year. While the most obvious cause of sinus infections involve blockages in your sinus cavities, there are many other unusual sinus infection causes that can occur.
Today, the McAllen certified physician assistant Jonathan Lerma and his right-hand team of sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group of Valley ENT will shed some light on some of the most uncommon causes of sinus infections in an effort to bring awareness.
1. Swimming in Chlorinated Pools
Swimming as a form of exercise is wonderful for your health; however, spending too much time in chlorinated pools can raise the likelihood of sinus infections. The chlorine can irritate nasal passageways, causing inflammation and increasing susceptibility to infection. When you dive into the water, the pressure can push chlorinated water deeper into your sinuses, affecting deeper and delicate tissues.
People with diabetes generally have higher blood glucose levels. Those elevated levels can make it more likely for you to develop infections, particularly ones in the sinuses and other sensitive areas.
These infections aren’t limited to the common viral and bacterial invasions that often result in sinus infections. People with diabetes can also develop oral yeast infections, which may spread to the nasal cavity. This unusual sinus infection type can sometimes be tougher to spot and treat than more common infections.
3. Dry Air
Part of living in Texas means we hardly have to worry about a lack of humidity. However, if you spend a lot of time in air-conditioned buildings or flying for work, dry air can cause issues. When the air is too dry, it can dry out your sinuses and thicken mucus trapped in your nasal openings. When this occurs, bacteria and viruses can get trapped as well, causing infection.
Staying well-hydrated when indoors can help. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water. You can also irrigate your sinuses with a neti pot or a saline nasal spray to reduce dryness and irritation.
4. Nasal Sprays
Nasal spray decongestants can be a lifesaver when you’re coping with the pain of a sinus headache or infection, but overusing this medication can make sinus pressure and sinus infections more likely.
When over-the-counter sinus sprays are used too much, your body becomes less sensitive to the medication. This can result in tissues becoming swollen again, which is called rebound nasal congestion. Fluids then become trapped, making infections more likely.
When a sinus infection inflicts pain and pressure, don’t automatically reach for an over-the-counter spray. These sprays should be used sparingly so that they don’t cause rebound congestion.
5. Chronic Medical Conditions
Chronic conditions like cystic fibrosis and other disorders that weaken your immune system can lead to inflammation in the airways and make you prone to building up thick mucus.
This thicker mucus, or an impaired ability to fight germs due to diabetes or HIV infection, can make you susceptible to sinus infections.
If a cold doesn’t resolve within 10 to 15 days, bacteria may have joined the party.
Bacterial infections rarely cause sinus infections, but they are almost always the cause of complicating secondary infections.
These bacteria can creep up in healthy people and grow. Take a decongestant during a cold to avoid those circumstances, and if you do develop bacterial sinusitis, you can treat it with antibiotics.
7. Problems With Your Anatomy
Certain people have nasal abnormalities that make them more prone to sinus infections. These can include deviated septums that make it difficult for your sinuses to drain properly. Other causes can include cleft palate, narrow sinus pathways, and even tumors.
Despite what nasal abnormalities you may have, balloon sinuplasty can be an option for relief. The procedure helps open up your sinuses, minimizing the likelihood of future sinus infections.
About Balloon Sinuplasty
While sinus infections can have many causes, there’s one solution that can help: the balloon sinuplasty procedure. This minimally invasive technique requires minimal tissue removal with little to no pain.
All it takes is getting it done in our office, with a recovery time that’s significantly quicker than traditional sinus surgery. Many patients are able to go back to their normal activities within two days.
If sinus infections are a frequent issue, we recommend having a conversation with us to determine if you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. If you wish to learn more about the benefits of balloon sinuplasty, feel free to reach out to The Glatz Group.
Relieve Your Sinus Infections When You See The Glatz Group of Valley ENT
If you can’t figure out the cause of your sinus infections and want to eliminate them altogether, we’d be ‘Glatz’ to detect the problem and find a solution that works best for you.
As COVID-19 remains an ongoing health concern, we will keep providing the alternative to have your symptoms addressed through telemedicine if you’d rather seek treatment or help from the safety and comfort of your humble abode. If you need an appointment, you can rest assured knowing that we take all precautionary measures necessary to preserve the safety of our patients and staff members. For an in-office procedure, we also accept calls.