Hurricane Harveys Mold May Be Affecting Your Sinuses
Chronic sinus got you down? The cause may be Hurricane Harvey and its lasting effects on Houstonians homes and workplaces. If you suffer from sinusitis, consider the following tips for eradicating mold to can might alleviate your chronic sinusitis and help keep new sinus infections at bay.
Twenty years ago, researchers assumed that all sinus infections were the result of either bacterial or viral infection. Today, scientists now recognize that when fungi such as mold enters the sinus cavity, a suppressed immune system is likely to have a strong adverse reaction, the result of which is fungal sinusitis. Fungi love damp, dark conditions, making the sinus cavity both a perfect environment for fungi to grow and a difficult place to eliminate it once its there. Research now shows that moldy homes and work environments are responsible for chronic sinus issues in as many as nine out of ten cases.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell the difference between sinus issues caused by fungi and those caused by viruses or bacteria. The symptoms of all three types of sinus infectionsheadaches, sinus pressure, congestion, and discolored dischargeare the same. Complicating matters, a sinus infection may be caused by a combination of two or even all three causes. However, if antibiotics havent eradicated your sinus problems and decongestants have little effect on your symptoms, its more likely that fungal sinusitis is the culprit behind your sinusitis.
Key Stats And Facts About Sinusitis
What Is The Modern Way To Successfully Manage This Difficult Problem
After medical therapy has failed, the following treatment algorithm gives the best chance for success:
With this comprehensive yet minimally invasive approach, we can have longterm success in treating this previously troublesome condition.
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Sinusitis : When Should I Call The Doctor
- a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
- a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
- symptoms of allergies that don’t clear with the usual allergy medicine
Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:
- pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
- swelling around the eye
How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
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What Can I Do To Help Relieve Symptoms Of A Staph Infection
Its important to seek medical help if you think you might have a staph infection. To relieve the symptoms of staph infection on your skin, clean the affected area with soap and water. You can try cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers to help with discomfort.
In cases of food poisoning, drink plenty of liquids while youre recovering to reduce your risk of dehydration.
Massage and warm compresses can relieve the symptoms of mastitis.
How Is Mold Lymph Node Swelling Diagnosed
Swollen lymph nodes are a symptom of infection or other illness. You dont actually treat the swollen lymph nodes. You have to treat the infection or other illness. Of course, before you can treat it, you have to figure out what it is.
If your lymph nodes are swollen, you probably have other symptoms, as well. If youre suffering from a mold-related illness, symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, a sore throat, a headache, discomfort in your chest, or difficulty breathing. You can read more about symptoms of mold-related health problems here. See your doctor and describe all the symptoms you are experiencing. If youve been exposed to mold in the home, let your doctor know that, as well.
Your doctor will examine you and take a thorough history. A physical examination will include palpating your lymph nodes. He or she may do some tests, such as blood work, a throat culture or a urine analysis . If you are coughing anything up, your doctor may take a sample of that for analysis. Your doctor may order a chest x-ray, too.
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Keeping Your Sinuses Moist
“Keeping your nose and sinuses moist is good for sinus health,” says Kelleher. “When sinuses get too dry, the mucociliary transport system that traps and moves irritants stops working.” If your house is dry, use a humidifier and keep the humidity between 30 and 50 percent. You can check your home’s humidity level with a hygrometer. “Your bedroom is the most important room in the house in which to keep a humidifier going,” says Kelleher. Be sure to clean your humidifier daily, or it will become a source for sinus problems. Standing in a hot shower is another good way to moisturize your sinuses.
Humidifiers And Mold: Are They Helping Or Hurting Your Health
Today I want to conquer a controversial topic: humidifiers, and more specifically, cool mist humidifiers. Ok, ok. I know that humidifiers are not exactly what you would call controversial, but in the world of mold-related illness, they actually are.
The whole reason this topic is coming up today is because a girlfriend of mine recently posted a request on social media looking desperately for help with her sons allergies, chronic congestion and ear infections. She had seen her
The designs of many cool mist humidifiers are even geared toward childrens rooms, so that they become part of the decor. I highly caution you against falling into this trap. You dont want to increase the moisture in a childs room. Microbial and mold counts can climb quickly, causing health issues, like asthma.
pediatrician already and did not want to accept that putting her child on another antibiotic or on allergy medication for the rest of his life were her only options. She was seeking more holistic advice and answers from other Moms about things that had worked for them.
Finally, I decided to give our ENT a call to get his thoughts on the use of humidifiers in the home. Dr. Dennis, whom I have featured in a number of posts, is ahead of the curve, in my opinion, with this type of information, because his approach to all sinus issues and sickness is very holistic and focuses on the cause of the sinus issue, rather than the symptoms and the quick fix. Here is his response:
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Mold Toxicity Is Also An Issue And It Is Considered A Chronic Inflammatory Response
An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium serve as inflammogens! Inflammogens keep your body in a state of inflammation.
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Physician Diagnosis Of Sinusitis
Physicians can conduct several tests to confirm a diagnosis of sinusitis.5 They may use transillumination, in which a light is placed against the sinus to see signs of infection. They may employ nasal endoscopy or rhinoscopy, in which a fiberoptic scope is used to directly visualize the sinus cavities. CT scanning of the sinuses allows the physician to view the bones and tissues of the sinuses, and an MRI can visualize tumors or fungal infections. The physician may also simply tap the area overlying the sinuses to locate sites of infection.
Several conditions mimic sinus infection, including the common cold, influenza, nasal polyposis, sarcoidosis, neoplasia, acquired and congenital immuno-deficiency, allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, Wegeners granulomatosis, and fungal infection.1 To identify these, physicians might check the nostrils for nasal polyps and recommend such examinations as allergy testing, blood tests for HIV and/or immune status, sweat chloride analysis or blood work for cystic fibrosis, nasal ciliary function tests, nasal cytology, and nasal culture.2,4
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Dangers Of Black Mold On Health
Toxins produced by black mold often cause inflammation of the mucous membranes in the body. Black mold can trigger inflammation, or allergies, which can trigger sinus inflammation. Inflammation is the immune systems response to an allergen or foreign substance entering the body. Continual exposure to black mold stimulates the immune response, causing inflammation of the bodys mucous membranes, leading to conditions such as sinus infections.
Additionally, breathing in mold spores can cause mold to grow inside areas such as the sinuses. These situations typically happen most often in immuno-compromised individuals. They are, however, difficult to get rid of and require fungal sinusitis testing for detection. Fungal sinusitis cannot be treated by antibiotics, so surgery is sometimes the only option to eradicate the problem.
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Believe It Or Not Moldcan Cause Sinusitis
Its time to talk about airborne allergies again. Instead of focusing on the usual culprits of trees, flowers and grasses, this blog will focus on mold, a form of fungi. While mold grows year round, spring is just the start of its proliferation especially in a year such as this with a mild winter and wet spring.
What is mold exactly? Like most fungi, it likes moist, warm places. Mildew, which is the stuff along your shower, is the early stages of mold. Mold is an essential part of our environment as it helps to decay vegetation and enhance the soil. Mold grows in colonies and can reproduce itself within 24-48 hours. Like pollen, mold becomes airborne and thats when you breathe it in. Indoor mold can have a negative impact on your sinuses.
Unfortunately, fungal sinusitis mimics bacterial sinusitis so there is no way to know what you have unless a culture is taken. Below are some recommendations:
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Respiratory Infections Due To Mold Exposure
Respiratory infections, including sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia, are common symptoms of mold exposure. Other common symptoms of exposure to mold include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, headaches, sore throats, difficulty breathing, fatigue and a general feeling of malaise. Because these symptoms are rather vague and can be caused by so many things, they often arent recognized as symptoms of exposure to mold. Therefore a person might receive treatment thats not effective and continue to suffer symptoms or even experience worsening health for quite some time, if they continue to be exposed to mold.
Prevention And Patient Resources
After major flooding or other exposure to water damage and mold, talk with your immunocompromised patients about how to protect themselves from mold:
- Mold grows where there is moisture, usually within 24-48 hours of flooding. Even if it is not visible, it is often present.
- Immunocompromised people should not enter moldy buildings or help clean up mold.
- If it is impossible for people with weakened immune systems to avoid a moldy building, they should talk with their doctor and consider wearing an N-95 respirator inside the building. Remind patients that this will still not fully protect them from becoming exposed to mold, but may reduce their risk.
For more information on mold cleanup, refer patients to the following CDC resources, or provide them with a printed copy:
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Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
Your bodys overproduction of mucus can reveal itself not only through a persistent cough but also through your bodys attempts to dispose of it. The body continually produces mucus, a viscous fluid that serves to lubricate as well as clean. Its the second of these two functions that is pertinent to the allergic response. Mucus captures foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria, and flushes them out, often harmlessly and unnoticeably. But when the body produces more mucus in the respiratory system than it can quietly dispose of, you notice the output in the form of a runny nose or postnasal drip. Whether excess mucus drains through the nostrils or down the throat, the discomfort it creates can indicate that the body is responding to the presence of mold.
Have you been wheezing lately, or getting out of breath just taking the stairs? Or maybe you feel like youre constantly battling a headache that just wont go away. Symptoms of mold exposure can be similar to those of infections or other conditions. So diagnosis and treatment takes longer than it should. But take heed. Those exposed to mold can be between 30-50% more likely to develop asthma. They also suffer from other respiratory problems and bronchitis.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Staph Infection On The Skin
Symptoms of a staph infection vary depending on the area of your body where the infection occurs. Staph infections occur most often on your skin. They often look like pimples red and angry and filled with pus. They may leak fluid. You might think you have some kind of bite or ingrown hair.
Signs and symptoms of staph infection on your skin include:
- Abscesses and boils: These painful sores form under your skin, causing redness and pain.
- Cellulitis: This type of infection causes swollen, red, painful skin and tissue just under your skin.
- Folliculitis: A small pimple-like blister forms under your hair follicle and causes pain.
- Impetigo: Fluid-filled blisters or sores form and rupture, leaving a yellow or brown crust.
- Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome : This serious infection causes skin to peel off all over your body. It usually affects infants and small children.
These types of staph infections often start with areas that are tender, warm and red. As they get worse, you may see pus or drainage, with red areas getting bigger. Some staph infections of the skin can become open wounds.
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What Is Sinusitis
Sinusitis often referred to as a sinus infection is an inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinusitis is most often suspected to be a result of the common cold, leading to symptoms such as:
- Facial pressure
- Green or gray nasal discharge
There are a few do it yourself remedies that can help these symptoms, such as taking an over the counter pain medication or decongestant and using a saline solution or nasal steroids. If your symptoms persist for more than 7-10 days, thats typically a good sign to head to your doctors office to decide on a treatment plan, oftentimes prescribing an antibiotic.
Unfortunately, those antibiotics dont do the trick for a subset of patients, leaving them feeling as if theres no cure for their pain. For those with chronic sinus infections, and sinus infections that dont improve with the use of antibiotics, it may be time to seek out an allergist.
What Is A Fungus
A fungus is a living organism. It cant make its own food, so it takes its nutrients from decomposing matter in the soil, water or plants where it lives. Fungi live in the air, on surfaces, and on humans and other animals.
Scientists classify fungi in groups. They include mold, yeasts and mildew. Some fungi are big enough to see , and some are so small you can only see them with a microscope.
There are more than 100,000 species of fungi. They live all around us, and most arent dangerous. But some fungi can invade the body and multiply, leading to serious health problems. Different types of fungi cause infections in many parts of the body. Some examples are yeast infections, thrush and toenail fungal infections.
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