Archive for June, 2010

Snoring and Sinus Infections

Teatro Naturale has an article discussing the causes and potential health risks related to snoring. If you or someone you care about is a frequent snorer there are several potential causes and the article covers many of those causes.

Among the potential causes is listed sinus infection. A sinus infection can block airways resulting in difficulty breathing and subsequently snoring. If you are a frequent snorer it is possible that this is a symptom of chronic sinusitis. If you’re suffering from difficulty breathing that causes snoring, a runny nose, and headaches located in the face and behind the eyes you may be suffering from a sinus infection and if these symptoms have persisted for three months you may have a chronic sinus infection. If you’re concerned your snoring is related to a sinus infection make an appointment with our office to get your questions answered.

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Golfer Fighting Sinus Infection

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Australian golfer Jason Day is planning to return to play in the US PGA tour despite suffering from a severe sinus infection. Reports indicate that the golfer’s sinuses are blocked badly still but that he is insisting on continuing to compete.

Athletes often feel driven to continue to compete despite physical ailment, illnesses, and injuries. This can be dangerous and a sinus infection is no exception. A severe sinus infection that has lasted weeks causes difficulty breathing and in any sport breathing is important for safety. A player like Jason Day has access to specialists who can help him to manage his sinus infection while returning to play. It’s best, in general, to avoid strenuous physical activity while recovering from a sinus infection. If you have concerns about the duration of your sinus infection or questions about activities you should avoid while recovering make an appointment with our office for a consultation.

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Sinus Infection and Taste

MSN’s Health & Fitness column has an article discussing the sense of taste and how it can be effected by different conditions. In particular it mentions how colds and other illnesses that effect the nose and so the sense of smell effect taste. A sinus infection can also reduce your sense of taste or alter it. Taste, as is described, is a function of several reactions working in unison with your taste buds. The sense of smell figures in as well. When the nose is blocked due to sinus infection this can reduce or change the sense of taste.

There are many symptoms of sinus infection and a reduced sense of taste is part of that. Suffering from difficulty breathing, a runny nose, or headaches located particularly in the face and behind the eyes are other signs. If these symptoms persist for three months or longer or reoccur frequently you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis, which would effect your sense of taste for much of the term of the infection. With the 4th of July coming up, contact our office to set up an appointment so you can taste those freshly grilled hamburgers.

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Yoga Method Gaining Popularity

The Pocono Record has an article about the rise in the popularity of Neti Pots. A Neti Pot is a method of nasal irrigation that is supposed to date back centuries. Part of the Yoga discipline, they it is a method of alternative medicine that some have embraced. The pot is used to pour warm salt water into the sinuses in order to clean them out. Some claim this is a method of preventing sinus infections and allergies. While the article doesn’t go into much depth on how the pot is used it’s worth noting that there is a particular method, which may be difficult for some patients.

While there are claims that this is an effective preventative treatment it should be kept in mind that it’s not an exclusive treatment for nasal allergies or sinus infections. If you suffer from serious allergies or chronic sinus infection consulting a doctor before any kind of treatment is important. In addition, the improper use of Neti Pots could also cause sinus problems and it’s best to learn about their proper use and study the method before adding it to your routine. While they may be easy to use, it’s important to use them right and in the right situation. Those suffering from serious sinus infections and nasal allergies should consult a doctor.

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Chronic Sinusitis and Secondhand Smoke

Helium’s health and fitness section has a brief article about a study conducted on the link between secondhand smoke and chronic sinusitis. The article explains how in the study, conducted on non-smokers, a link was found with a higher incidence of chronic sinusitis in those who had a greater exposure to secondhand smoke. Several factors, including the location of exposure, were considered in evaluating the collected data. This link follows the trend of evidence showing the dangers of secondhand smoke.

For decades we’ve seen evidence of the negative health consequences of smoking. With more and more study being done on secondhand smoke we’re also seeing that you don’t have to be a smoker to be negatively affected by smoking. Evidence is mounting that just being in the presence of smoking puts you at health risk. If you are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home, at work, or in public, and are experiencing difficulty breathing, headaches located behind the eyes, a runny nose, or other symptoms of sinusitis you should seek treatment. Decongestants and avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke can help but if symptoms persist for weeks or even months it’s best to consult a doctor. If you have questions or concerns about sinusitis please contact our office for an appointment.

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First Salt Room Opened in the U.S.

Tampa Bay Online has an article about a new alternative therapy center opened in Tampa for treatment of respiratory and other ailments. This center, called Breathing Clear, offers speleotherapy salt rooms for people suffering from allergies, asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis, chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder and cystic fibrosis. The therapy consists of patients sitting in rooms constructed with salt bricks. Those patients Tampa Bay Online spoke to related positive experiences. The owner of the center did emphasize that this treatment was intended to be used alongside therapy and not as a replacement for it.

This should serve as a reminder that there are a lot of alternatives offered to modern medicine but also that a lot of these alternatives are untested. Plenty of people will swear by the remedies but serious research hasn’t really been conducted on the effectiveness of these salt rooms, as an example. If you choose to pursue an alternative or a remedy labeled as natural, herbal, or organic it is best to discuss this with your doctor first. Don’t buy into the myth that because it’s natural it must be good. Learn the facts about these remedies and talk to your doctor to make sure that a salt room you use to help with chronic sinusitis can’t exacerbate a high blood pressure condition. You should certainly never replace your current treatment for anything with one of these untested remedies without first consulting your doctor. Some of these remedies can be helpful but they are best used in conjunction with your current treatment instead of replacing it.

If you have questions about treating chronic sinusitis, asthma, or allergies, contact our office for an appointment.

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Causes of Sinusitis

Republica has an article that offer some insight into causes of sinusitis and being aware that alternative treatments may work on some but not all patients. The story primarily focuses on people adjusting their diet to alleviate sinusitis and how such treatment works for many people but won’t necessarily work for everyone. The story points out that some recommend reducing or eliminating meat and dairy from the diet to treat sinusitis. While an allergy to these foods can certainly cause inflammation that could lead to or exacerbate a sinus infection, not everyone will experience that effect.

There are many potential causes for sinusitis or for the exacerbation of sinusitis. Knowing what might have an effect on you as an individual is important. Assuming that a remedy that works for someone else will automatically alleviate your own symptoms can be problematic. Eliminating food from your diet while you’re trying to fight an infection can also be problematic as meats and dairies contain essential vitamins and proteins our bodies need to function and to fight infection. If you have a sinus infection or are concerned you may have sinusitis, then you should consult your doctor. To learn more about what particular foods, environmental factors, or allergens may effect you or exacerbate a sinus infection in you, please contact our office for an appointment.

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Tree Pollen Allergies in the City

The New York Times has an informative Op-Ed piece about the botany of allergy, which states that male pollens are the largest cause of allergy symptoms in the East. Female trees flower and when the flowers fall off that adds more debris to the city’s sewer system. Male trees don’t flower but release their pollen into the air. Due to their resistance to disease and the relative neatness they offer, male trees were planted in higher concentration in cities. This results in a higher concentration of male tree pollen inhaled by city dwellers and can exacerbate allergies to the pollen.

While this provides some insight into the botanical source of allergies, the piece fails to address the role of oak, beech, and birch. All of these trees are capable of contributing to nasal allergy, asthma, and oral allergy syndrome. If you’re concerned about pollen as a cause of your seasonal allergies, or have questions regarding allergies, asthma, or sinus problems that may be exacerbated by the tree pollen in the air, please contact our office today for an appointment.

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Misdiagnosis of Sinus Infection

The Charlotte Observer has a letter from an individual who was allegedly misdiagnosed with a sinus infection and given ineffective treatments, when the cause of symptoms seems to have a been a reaction to a drug. This individual, who is anonymous, switched their blood pressure medication to lisinopril and immediately started to experience symptoms, such as a violent cough, that was diagnosed as being caused by a sinus infection. When initial treatment for a sinus infection was ineffective the individual was referred to an allergist who put her through tests and on a new treatment, which is also reported to have been ineffective. Eventually, this person stopped taking the lisinopril after reading an article about the drug suggesting it caused similar symptoms. This person’s symptoms soon stopped.

There are a few things of note here. First, it’s important to always learn about the potential side effects of the drugs you are prescribed or even over the counter drugs. Discuss this with your doctor. Second, when there is a sudden onset of previously unseen symptoms be aware of what may have been changed to bring on these symptoms. A new medication, moving to a new home, a new job, or even eating at a new restaurant. When you report the symptoms to your doctor be sure to emphasize these potential changes so your doctor can best evaluate your symptoms and make the best diagnosis. Third, be patient, and never stop a medication without consulting your doctor. It doesn’t say whether this particular individual stopped their blood pressure medication without consulting their doctor but it sounds like that is a possibility and that can be very dangerous.

If you’re concerned about a sudden onset of symptoms like a sinus infection, then please contact our office for an appointment.

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Sports and Sinus Infections

St. Louis Today is reporting that, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Ryan Franklin has been combating a sinus infection over the past week. Franklin reportedly had trouble during the Cardinals game on Saturday. He did not concede that the infection has affected his performance or had any bearing on the outcome of Saturday’s game. The team’s manager is planning on using an upcoming series of interleague games (exhibition games played against teams from the other baseball league that don’t count towards the team’s standing in their own league) to give certain players a rest.

What should be taken from this is the prevalence of sinus infections and also a word of caution. A sinus infection can have broader physical effects than just a headache or runny nose, if left unchecked. Rest can be a good way to let the body use its energy to fight the infection. Not taking the potential effects of a sinus infection seriously can have repercussions. If you have been suffering from a sinus infection or are concerned you may be suffering from a sinus infection, contact our office for an appointment.

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