Fungal sinusitis is a wide term that refers to a variety of conditions in which fungus may be involved in the cause or symptoms of nasal and sinus inflammation.
A fungus may live practically anywhere on the planet, which means fungi such as mold, yeast, and mildew will be present wherever you go. They typically feed on dead or dying animals, but they can also infect humans through skin or toenail infections.
Most of the time, when you’re in good health, these have little to no effect on your sinuses. However, it can cause fungal sinus infection symptoms in some people, particularly those who are immunocompromised. Depending on the type of fungal sinusitis you have, the problem could become quite unpleasant.
What is fungal sinusitis?
Fungal sinusitis is a sinus infection caused by fungus. People with compromised immune systems are more likely to experience fungal sinus infection symptoms. Immune systems can be compromised by circumstances like uncontrolled diabetes or cancer treatment.
An uncommon type of invasive fungal sinusitis can be extremely dangerous, but fortunately, this type of sinusitis is extremely rare.
Fungal sinusitis is classified into several types
There are several forms of fungal sinusitis, which are classified as either invasive or noninvasive.
The most prevalent is noninvasive, and it primarily affects the sinuses and nasal passageways.
Noninvasive fungal sinusitis is classified as follows:
- Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis
- Saprophytic fungal sinusitis
- Mycetoma: a fungal ball that plugs the sinuses
Invasive fungal sinusitis is a severe infection of the sinus and nasal lining that can cause destruction of sinus/nasal tissue.
Invasive fungal sinusitis is classified as follows:
- Chronic invasive sinusitis
- Chronic Indolent/Granulomatous Sinusitis
- Acute Fulminant Invasive Fungal Sinusitis
Symptoms of a fungal sinusitis
The symptoms of a fungal sinus infection are quite similar to those of a "normal" sinus infection, including:
- Facial pain
- Facial pressure
- A foul nasal odour
- Loss of smell
- Sinus headache
If you are experiencing these symptoms of a fungal sinus infection, you should make an appointment with an ENT specialist as soon as possible.
Fungal sinusitis can, and often do, recur
It is not uncommon for fungal sinusitis to reoccur; in such cases, you may require more therapy or possibly surgery to gently remove the fungus.
If you experience persistent symptoms of a sinus infection, make an appointment with an ENT specialist. They can help you assess your overall risk of fungal sinusitis and provide a treatment strategy that is unique to you.
What treatment options are there for fungal sinusitis?
The specific causes of fungal sinusitis determine its typical treatment options. Often, surgery or a procedure is required to physically remove the fungus, the mucus that holds it, and, in some cases, the damaged tissue as well. Anti fungal drugs can also be utilized, but only after surgery. Anti fungal medicines are essential for invasive fungal sinusitis.
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