Background

Fungal infections cause a stuffy nose, eventually causing the nasal passages and sinuses to swell shut. In the body, any time something gets blocked (e.g., appendix, gallbladder, etc.), it results in a secondary bacterial infection — and the sinuses are no exception. When this happens, your nasal mucus turns yellow-green, and you go to the doctor in pain. They give you an antibiotic, which knocks out the bacterial infection and sometimes leaves you feeling better. Unfortunately, the antibiotic worsens the underlying yeast infection in your nose, causing more swelling and blockages and, therefore, more attacks of bacterial infections. This is why sinusitis in the U.S. usually becomes chronic. An interesting study reported in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings noted that previously “fungus allergy was thought to be involved in less than 10% of cases... our studies indicate, in fact, fungus is likely the cause of nearly all of these problems and that it is not an allergic reaction but an immune reaction.”

Treatment

Therapies & Advice

Silver Nose Spray

Another very helpful over the counter treatment for sinusitis is Argentyn 23 Silver Nose Spray. In low doses, silver is an anti-infectious agent against both viral and bacterial infections. Silver also works well in combination with the prescription sinusitis nose spray, and they are wonderful in combination. It contains bactroban, bismuth, and xylitol, which kill the bacterial infections (and clinically appear to even fight biofilm infections), low dose cortisol to shrink the swelling, and an antifungal. Use 1 to 2 sprays in each nostril twice a day for 6-12 weeks while on the Diflucan. That is usually enough to knock out the sinusitis, although some patients like to stay on it long term or use it intermittently for recurrent infections. Your physician can call in the prescription for the Sinusitis Nose spray to ITC Pharmacy (888-349-5453).

Check for candida

To get to the root of sinus infections, and eliminate them, treat the underlying fungal/Candida infections (see Candida). Sinusitis, even chronic, usually responds dramatically to yeast treatment with Diflucan for 6-12 weeks.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil provides a wonderful penetrating vapor that does not have the tendency to irritate like menthol. I would recommend a form called "Sinu-Check" by Enzymatic Therapy which contains a unique, pure form of natural eucalyptus oil extract called "cineole." Eucalyptus smells great, and has been used for centuries to clear stuffy airways, shrink nasal swelling and reduce secretion of mucus — fast and without causing sedation.

Nasal rinses

Nasal rinses using 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt per cup of lukewarm water will wash billions of bacteria down the sink so your body doesn’t have to fight them.

Avoid antibiotics

Sinus infections likely exist in what are called “Biofilms.” Antibiotics turn short term sinus infections into chronic ones (and oral antibiotics don’t work).

More Information Online

Chronic Sinusitis — Actually a Yeast Infection

Sinus Survival (book and resources at www.sinussurvival.com. For those few patients with persistent chronic sinusitis despite treatment, Sinus Survival by Robert S. Ivker, a physician whose heart embodies what it means to be a healer, is very helpful.) 

Contributor: 

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery); and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).