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Rhinosporidiosis – causes, side effects and treatments at

Saturday, June 30, 2018 by

Rhinosporidiosis refers to a chronic granulomatous infection of the mucous membranes. The disease often manifests as vascular friable polyps (soft, painless, non-cancerous growths) that develop in the nasal mucosa (the tissue that lines the nasal cavity) or the external structures of the eye.

Rhinosporidiosis was first described by Guillermo Seeber in 1900 in an individual from Argentina. The infectious disease is native to Africa, India, South America, and Sri Lanka.

The condition is caused by Rhinosporidium seeberi (R. seeberi), an aquatic protistan parasite. The polyps caused by the infection often spread near the patient’s nose, eye, skin, ear, genitals, and rectum.

Cases of rhinosporidiosis have been reported in Southeast Asia, the U.S., and other areas around the globe. However, most cases of rhinosporidiosis occur in persons from or residing in the Indian subcontinent or Sri Lanka.

Aside from humans, rhinosporidiosis can infect cats, cattle, dogs, ducks, goats, horses, mules, parrots, and swan.

Known symptoms of rhinosporidiosis

The signs of rhinosporidiosis usually include:

  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Bleeding nose polyps
  • Cough
  • Excessive eye tearing
  • Eye redness
  • Foreign body sensation in the eye
  • Itching
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nose obstruction
  • Postnasal discharge
  • Runny nose
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Small skin bumps
  • Sneezing
  • Wart-like bump

Risk factors for rhinosporidiosis include bathing or working in infected bodies of stagnant water.

Body systems harmed by rhinosporidiosis

Rhinosporidiosis may cause the following complications:

  • Epistaxis – Commonly called a nosebleed.
  • Nasal polyps – Polyps that are found in the nasal passage.
  • Rhinorrhoea – This is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the nose. It is often linked to nasal discharge.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent rhinosporidiosis

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent rhinosporidiosis or address its side effects:

  • Chili peppers – Hot peppers can help clear sinuses because they contain capsaicin, a compound that gives them their heat. Capsaicin soothes pain, minimizes inflammation, and increases mucus production. Use it in moderation.
  • Garlic – Garlic can also minimize inflammation and ease pain. Additionally, garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound that is produced when garlic is crushed or cut. Allicin has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties.
  • Horseradish – Horseradish is a spicy root that has similar properties to chili peppers. Horseradish also has antibiotic properties.
  • Pineapple – Pineapple is full of antioxidants that can protect the delicate mucous membranes. The fruit also has enzymes that help break down the debris that builds up in sinuses and reduce inflammation.
  • Probiotics – Probiotics are “good” bacteria in the body that keeps out “bad” bacteria and fungi infections. Fermented foods contain probiotics, and sources include coconut yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, and tempeh.
  • Water – Clean and filtered water can help the body stay hydrated, ensuring that mucus flows and that the sinuses aren’t clogged.

Treatments, management plans for rhinosporidiosis

There is no effective cure for rhinosporidiosis. Treatment for the disease aims to eliminate the polyps that grow in various areas on the patient’s body.

Treatment options include surgery to remove the polyps. However, the growths can still recur post-surgery.

Where to learn more


Rhinosporidiosis refers to a chronic granulomatous infection of the mucous membranes. The disease often manifests as vascular friable polyps that develop in the nasal mucosa or the external structures of the eye.

The symptoms of rhinosporidiosis usually include bleeding from the nose, bleeding nose polyps, a cough, excessive eye tearing, and eye redness.

Rhinosporidiosis may cause complications like epistaxis/nosebleed, nasal polyps, and rhinorrhoea.

Treatment options includes surgery to remove polyps. However, the growths can still recur post-surgery.

Sources include: 1


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