Sinus Infection Help

Sinus Infection and Chronic Nasal Congestion

People suffering from chronic nasal congestion are likely to suffer regularly from chronic sinus infection.

All of us have experienced nasal congestion in our lives. The common causes of nasal congestion include:

a. Viral influenza

b. The common cold

c. Allergic reaction to airborne irritants (commonly known as hay fever) such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites etc.

Such episodes of nasal congestion are usually short-term and merely symptoms of the above-mentioned conditions.

However, Chronic Nasal Congestion is somewhat different. A person is deemed to have chronic nasal congestion when the nasal passages are mostly clogged up even though he is perfectly healthy.

Direct causes of chronic nasal congestion

1. Deviated Septum

The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage in the nose that separates the nasal cavity into the two nostrils. Normally, the septum lies centrally, separating the nasal passages into two equal halves.

A deviated septum is an abnormal condition caused when the top of the cartilaginous ridge leans either to the left or the right. Obstruction of the affected nasal passage then results leading to poor drainage of the sinuses.

2. Enlarged nasal turbinates

A nasal turbinate is a long, narrow shell-like curled bone which protrudes into the breathing passage of the nose. Its main purpose is to help warm and humidify the inhaled air before it reaches the lungs.

Chronic nasal congestion impairs normal breathing as it forces patients to breathe through the mouth.

Infant nasal congestion in the first few months of life can interfere with feeding and could cause life-threatening breathing problems.

Nasal congestion and enlarged turbinates can also contribute to sinus headaches, poor quality sleep, snoring and sleep/breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.

Indirect cause of chronic nasal congestion

Many ENT specialists today are aware that certain food groups can cause severe allergic reactions to people. Certain staple foods which we consume on a daily basis can give rise to increased mucus production from our mucosal membranes.

Dairy products derived from cow’s milk are the most mucus-forming of all. Milk, including skim milk, butter, cheese, cream, etc. belong to this category.

Soy beans and soy-derived products are the most mucus-forming of all plant foods. Eggs are known to have a high mucus-forming index.

So, evidently, chronic nasal congestion is a subtle indication of food allergy. The allergy causes the mucosal membrane surrounding the inferior turbinates to swell causing nasal obstruction and the nasal passages then becomes blocked and clogged up.

Sinus Infection and Chronic Nasal Congestion

When a person’s nose is obstructed, the natural ventilation of the nasal passages and sinuses becomes impaired.

This allows bacteria to multiply within the sinuses resulting in bacteria overload.
If the immune system of the person is strong, the body’s natural defenses can suppress the bacteria buildup within the sinuses.

But unfortunately, those with a weakened immune system will succumb to the bacterial overload and sinus infection often results.

In order to prevent sinus infection and sinus symptoms successfully, it is imperative that chronic nasal congestion must be treated as early as possible.

For those people who are born with naturally large inferior turbinates, it is common for then to have all-year round nasal congestion and blocked nose even though they are not suffering from any medical condition.

People suffering from chronic nasal congestion have exceptionally high incidences of chronic sinus infection.

Latest Medical Treatment for Enlarged Nasal Turbinates

Thermal ablation with radiofrequency energy is a recently developed non-surgical procedure for the reduction of enlarged turbinates. It involves using an electrode to heat the turbinate tissue from within the nasal area.

This causes the size of the turbinate to be reduced. With this method, there is little or no bleeding and pain.

Thermal ablation with radiofrequency is minimally invasive and is done in the clinic with only local anesthesia. The patient can resume normal activity almost immediately.

This procedure also preserves the normal function of the turbinate resulting in excellent ventilation of the nasal passages and sinuses.

Sinus infection and chronic nasal congestion are closely related. Successful treatment of nasal congestion problems can very well prevent sinus infection or sinusitis from recurring.

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