It has long been a vexing question in otolaryngology: what role do bacteria play in the development of chronic sinusitis? Of course we know that infections can lead to drainage issues, which can spawn more infections, through the development of tenacious biological barriers known as biofilms:
But, unlike the usual colds and coughs, these biofilms are incredibly resistant and prolong the fight from days and weeks to months and years. Our bodies turn to chronic inflammation in order to continue the fight but that comes with consequences, such as symptoms mimicking allergies, the formation of polyps, and the most troublesome of all, deformation of tissue inside our cavities.
But how to identify the original bacterial culprit, the butterfly whose flapping wings sets the entire cascade of inflammatory responses into motion? A new study seems likely to shed some light, sampling dozens of species to uncover which ones appear most often in the mucosa of sinusitis sufferers:
The results came back with a variety of surprises. The first had to do with the bacteria found. Only P. aeruginosa and S. aureus were higher in number in those with chronic illness than compared to the controls. The number of other bacteria and fungi were the same. This suggested these two species contributed the most to complications.
The linkage between these bacteria and these symptoms seemed tenuous at best, underscoring the fact that we still don’t completely understand how microbes and sinusitis interact. But we’re improving all the time, and our diagnostic tools have only grown sharper at singling out the cases which may require sinus surgery.
For relief from chronic sinusitis, contact the Los Angeles Sinus Institute today.