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4 Unexpected Causes of Chronic Sinus Pain & Congestion

Sinusitus

Have you ever experienced sinus pain and congestion that lasted longer than a week? Unexpected sinus congestion and chronic sinus pain are usually due to the common cold or a mild infection, and symptoms typically resolve within 10 days. But when that sinus pain and congestion lingers, it can be tricky to find over-the-counter medications that offer long-term solutions.

This time of year, Family Integrative Medicine sees a sharp increase in the number of patients reporting unexpected and chronic sinus issues. We work closely with our patients to provide relief from symptoms by taking the time to meet with each individual and clearly understand their health needs. By digging deeper and examining your condition, we can identify the root cause and begin your healing journey.

After all, chronic sinus inflammation can be caused by many factors. The factors that trigger your symptoms need to be considered and resolved at the same time you receive symptomatic relief. Family Integrative Medicine has found that this approach helps our patients’ issues with chronic sinus pain and congestion clear up and stay better.

Keep reading to learn about the four most common causes of sinus pain and congestion, as seen in our Central Florida medical clinics.

#1. Food Allergies
You might not realize this, but many individuals develop sinus congestion from food allergies. Foods like gluten, dairy, eggs, refined sugars, alcohol and more can trigger a general inflammatory response. Essentially, the sinuses become inflamed due to increased levels of histamine in the body.

If you find that your sinus inflammation is worse after eating certain foods, it might be time to try an elimination diet. The most basic way to do this is to remove the most common inflammatory foods from your diet for 30 days. Slowly introduce them back into your life, one at a time. If the inflammation comes back, it will be easy to identify which foods triggered the sinus pain and congestion. You should avoid those foods in the future.

#2. Low-Grade Infections
Chronic sinus issues can also start as low-grade infections, which can be viral, bacterial or fungal. It is now believed that the reason people get these types of lingering infections, which are hard to treat with medications, is due to biofilms. Biofilm is a plaque produced by colonies of bacteria that blankets and protects them from the effects of antibiotics.

While modern antibiotic medications are highly potent, this potency also means you can’t take them for long periods of time. As a result, Family Integrative Medicine prescribes antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic herbal medicine for its patients. These can be safely taken for the longer duration that’s needed to completely resolve a chronic sinus infection. It’s also a great idea to wash your sinuses with sterile, warm water.

#3. Weakened Immunity
Some people experience issues related to a weak immune system. Diseases that attack the immune system, such as HIV, make it more difficult for one’s body to fight infections and inflammation. For example, people with cystic fibrosis may be especially vulnerable to chronic sinusitis. Less severe scenarios that also weaken the immune system could include the overuse of certain medications or eating an imbalanced diet. A poor diet damages the good, beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which plays an important role in processing toxins and supporting critical immune functions.

If you find that you are always getting sick, with simultaneous chronic digestive issues like bloating or indigestion, probiotics and a light cleanse might be indicated.

#4. Facial Muscle Irritation
Facial muscles can become irritated if sinus cavities are inflamed. Surrounding the deep layers of your sinuses are small muscles that help with facial expressions and other functions. When there is localized face inflammation, these muscles develop areas of hyperirritability. The hypersensitive areas cause predictable pain patterns, such as headaches in the forehead, around the eyes, ears and nose.

Medical acupuncture combined with plant extracts is an extremely effective way of resolving this type of pain. Essential oils like peppermint can also be massaged into areas of face muscles that are tender and sore.

To find effective, results-driven solutions for your chronic sinus pain and congestion, schedule an appointment with our care team. We look forward to supporting your healthcare needs and improving your quality of life, starting today!

About Family Integrative Medicine in Central Florida
As a leader in person-centered care, Family Integrative Medicine serves families, elder adults, sports athletes and veterans in Central Florida who want to pursue faster and more effective healing for a variety of chronic conditions.

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