Causes of Sinusitis: St. Patrick's Day May Have Caused a Sinus Infection

Post St. Patty’s Day Sinusitis. Was it the park or the beer?

ENT allergies in the early spring

Cherry blossoms cover the grass in Central Park in the early spring

Sure, St. Patrick’s Day pays homage to the patron saint of Ireland, and commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, too. But for many of us, the celebration entails watching a parade in the park, drinking too much beer, or even both at once. They can actually be causes of sinusitis.

But if your St. Patrick’s Day recovery includes recovery from sinusitis, you might be asking yourself—was the park or the beer that caused my infection?

Spending time in a park is one of the great joys of life, but at this time of year it can be miserable for people with allergies. The pollen is starting to go crazy, and last year’s mold is coming to the surface as the snow melts. Allergies can lead to sinusitis, so staying away from parks and other pollen hot spots is the best choice for allergy sufferers.

One cause of sinusitis that many of us never consider is drinking beer or wine… certainly an unexpected reason for sinus surgery. Sulphites added to wine as a preservative are a common allergen and can cause asthma symptoms for many. Beer is made from hops and yeast, which convert to a form of sugar in the body. Allergies to yeast or intolerance to alcohol can develop at any time, as the body changes every few years. Alcohol also causes dehydration, which can cause swelling and inflammation that can block the nasal and sinus area.

Anything that causes indigestion or heartburn (mozzarella sticks, anyone?) probably increases acid reflux, another hidden cause of sinusitis. Even if you don’t notice this reflux particularly, the sensitive lining of your sinuses can become inflamed, which can lead to sinusitis.

If you think acid reflux may be contributing to your sinus problems, you may want to:

  • Abstain from alcohol
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Reduce spicy food
  • Avoid dairy and chocolate

See our chart on Acid Reflux

Sure, there are many a cause of sinusitis, and sure making changes in your diet can be a struggle, but if it helps you avoid sinus surgery—isn’t it worth it? We can help you manage your sinus trouble naturally. Contact us today.

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