Fungal Sinus Infection – Busting The Myths
Can mold cause sinus infections? We shall find out together!
Mold, and especially black toxic mold, is a sinister indoor allergen. It causes many infections, some of them deadly.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), every year, Americans spend more than $1 billion on over-the-counter medication for sinus infections.
That is a lot of money. And the close to 40 million people who suffer from sinus infections every year is big.
Back to the topic;
Can exposure to mold cause sinus infection? If you are exposed to mold, you are going to experience mold toxicity symptoms, and one of the symptoms will be fungal sinus infections. You are going to experience pain in the forehead, the cheeks, and the space between the eyes, as well as nasal congestion and pain.
Can mold in your house cause sinus infections?
In the article that I wrote some time back on the mold exposure symptoms in babies, we said that exposure to this fungus can send you on endless hospital trips.
Therefore, having mold in your house is going to cause sinus, and other infections as well. But first, you might need to know what sinuses are, and how this fungus affects them.
What are sinuses?
If you look at the image of a human skull you will see cavities in the forehead, under the cheekbones, in the nose area, and under the eyes. These spaces are the sinuses.
They are actually pockets that hold mucus, which traps bacteria in the air that you inhale. The mucus also dampens the air so that it is softer and easier on your airways.
These sinuses can be affected by many things and today, a big population of the Americans suffers from chronic sinusitis. They can become inflamed, blocked, or even fail to drain as they should.
When the sinuses become inflamed, you get a condition called sinusitis. Mostly, bacteria cause Sinusitis, but fungi, such as mold, can also cause the infection.
Therefore, a proper diagnosis is important, before you can blame mold for your sinusitis.
Also Read: Best humidifiers for sinuses
What type of sinusitis does mold cause?
As we have already aforementioned, sinusitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and it can also be caused by fungal exposure.
However, not everyone who is exposed to mold is going to sustain sinusitis. Mostly, this happens to people with compromised immunity. For instance, mold exposure in toddlers causes various symptoms.
Exposure to black mold causes fungal sinusitis, of course, because the mold itself is a fungus. When mold matures, it starts to produce spores.
The fungus spores float in the air and when they get into contact with the skin, or when you inhale them, you can experience various symptoms.
If you want to know whether you have mold in your house, look at the humidity. When it is constantly above 50 percent, that is a perfect condition for mold. If there is a strong, musty smell in the house, it is probably caused by mold and mildew.
Luckily, using an air purifier or dehumidifier to remove musty smell can also ensure there is no more mold growing, especially as the dehumidifier keeps the humidity low, at 50 percent or lower.
Also, you must make sure you remove the mold completely, by fumigation. Mold spores can stay dormant for a long time, waiting for the perfect conditions to grow again.
If not, your family will always experience fungal sinusitis. Keep reading to see more about it.
Types of fungal sinusitis
There are different types of fungal sinusitis. These are as follows:
1. Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis
People who are victims of hay fever or asthma can suffer from allergic fungal rhinosinusitis easily.
When you live in a house that has mold, the fungi eventually find its way to your nose. As a result, there is a reaction, where the sinus cavities fill with mucus.
The excess mucus can make it hard to inhale, and can start causing pain in the sinuses. If you do not get treatment in time, you can experience nasal polyps.
3. Saprophytic fungal sinusitis
In this case, fungus will grow on the mucus crusts inside your nose. In this case, when the crusts are removed, the fungus comes out with them. The fungus will not grow on the nose tissue itself.
2. Fungal ball
Also called mycetoma, here, the fungi collect inside the nose, and they form a ball in the sinus cavities. If not treated in time, these balls get bigger and block the sinuses. When that happens, you will have to get surgery to remove them.
You should treat all the three types of sinusitis as soon as possible. They can escalate, and actually become life-threatening.
Of course, alongside the treatment, it is also very important to ensure that you get rid of the mold from your home, completely! Running a basement dehumidifier with drain hose can help to keep the humidity level below 50 percent.
If you don’t remove the existing mold, and prevent more from growing, you are likely to keep sinusitis running in your family.
Sometimes, bacteria can cause even the most acute sinusitis cases. Therefore, even if you have mold in the house, it is best to establish for sure that you have fungal sinusitis.
The symptoms of bacterial and viral sinus infections are the same, so without testing, the doctor cannot know whether it is viral or bacterial.
The only solution is to carry out a laboratory test, to establish that the infection is indeed as a result of mold in your home.
The good thing is that a viral infection should start subsiding in 5 to 7 days. If it does not, then it is most likely a bacterial infection.
While lab tests are not generally important for sinusitis, well, the doctor can recommend it. In this case, culture from the nose tissue is used to determine whether the infection is viral or bacterial.
Treatment for a sinus infection from mold
If the doctor has established that you have sinusitis caused by mold, they are likely to recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Corticosteroids – These types of medication can reduce the sinus pressure, which is usually caused by inflammation. They offer almost instant relief.
Antifungal medication – Good for fungal balls, and other types of fungal sinusitis, they will kill the fungus in the nose or in the mucus crust. Usually, this medication continues even after surgery.
Surgery – If you have allergic fungal rhinosinusitis, or fungal ball, you will need surgery to remove them. You will also have to continue using medication to kill all the mold in the nasal cavities. The doctor removes all the infected tissue using endoscopic surgery.
Nasal Wash – Nasal washes contains water and salt to use when there is fungus growing on the mucus crust. It will clean out the mucus that has the fungus. You can buy these washes over the counter.
There is no doubt now that mold is going to cause fungal sinusitis, mostly on people with compromised immunity, but anyone can get it.
There is treatment for fungal sinusitis. However, the overall best method remains to prevent it from occurring, by removing the mold from your home.
After fumigation, use the best dehumidifier with pump or without to keep the humidity level low, below 50 percent all the time.
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