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Expert Opinions

Expert Opinions Archive
I heard that sinus problems are due to a fungus. Is this true? Should I be trying a different therapy?

Millions of people suffer from lingering sinus problems, and treatments are difficult for this stubborn condition. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota may have discovered the reason why. In a study that appeared in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Aug. 1999), David Sherris, M.D., department of otorhinolaryngology, and colleagues report that fungi--the pesky microbes that can also lead to stubborn nail infections--may be to blame. Dr. Sherris comments:

"We think chronic sinusitis is an abnormal reaction to fungus. The fungus is in all of us, but we discovered that chronic sinusitis sufferers have an exaggerated reaction to it. In these people, immune cells travel to the nasal membranes, where they explode and destroy the fungus. But they also irritate the nasal membranes. They're like little kamikazes, and we think they're what causes the irritation in chronic sinusitis sufferers. The presence of the fungus isn't the problem; it's the body's reaction to it that causes the difficulty.

"What does this mean for chronic sufferers? We're investigating two possible routes" reports Dr. Sherris. "Treatment to get rid of the fungus, or treatment to prevent the immune cells from attacking the fungus. Current therapies treat the postnasal drip but not the cause. Now we know what to treat. In the meantime, I would not stop any of the complementary therapies or commonsense advice, like drinking fluids and eating fruits and vegetables. The treatment that our research uncovers will be an additional one, not the definitive and only remedy. Sinusitis sufferers should continue any strategies that make them feel better."

Do you have sinus troubles? For natural treatments, be sure to visit the WholeHealthMD healing path for sinusitis.

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