5 Things You Need to Know About Fungal Sinusitis

A fungus can live in almost any place on Earth.

This means no matter where you go, you’ll encounter fungi like mold, yeast or mildew.

Most of the time, if you’re relatively healthy, these have minimal effects on your sinuses. But in other cases – especially among those who are immunosuppressed — it can cause fungal sinus infection symptoms. Depending upon the type of fungal sinusitis,  the situation can become quite inconvenient.

We’ll look at the causes behind fungal sinus infection symptoms through these five things you should know about the illness.

What Is Fungal Sinusitis?

This is a sinus infection caused by a fungus. This makes it different from sinusitis caused by pollen and ragweed. Those who have compromised immune systems are at greater risk for developing fungal sinus infection symptoms. Immune systems may be compromised due to conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes or cancer treatment.

There is a rare type of invasive fungal sinusitis that can be extremely serious. Fortunately, this kind of sinusitis is very uncommon.

5 Important Things to Know About Fungal Sinusitis

1. Fungal Sinus Infection Symptoms

You’ll find that fungal sinus infection symptoms are very similar to those of “regular” sinus infections. These include:

  • Facial pressure
  • Congestion
  • Facial pain
  • Loss of smell
  • A foul nasal odor
  • Sinus headache
  • Fever

If you are having these fungal sinus infection symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with one of our ENTs as soon as possible.

2. The Number of Fungal Sinus Infections Is Increasing

Over the last decade, there’s been a steady increase in the number of patients diagnosed with fungal sinus infections, according to information from the Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers believe this is due to:

  • The increasing number of people diagnosed with a disease that compromises their immune system.
  • The fact that antibiotics are prescribed more often.
  • The frequency with which immunosuppressant drugs have been administered.

3. Treatment May Include Surgery

We evaluate each case on an individual basis. The treatment for fungal sinusitis may vary slightly.

However, some cases will require sinus surgery. At Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose and Throat, we specialize in functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).

Using this minimally invasive technique, we eliminate the need for making large incisions on your face or in your mouth. The fungal infection is removed while other tissues are not damaged.

Depending upon the severity of the infection, antifungal medicines may be needed even after surgery.

4. There Are Different Classifications For Fungal Sinusitis

There are many types of fungal sinusitis, and they are generally classified as either invasive or noninvasive. Noninvasive is the most common, and it primarily only affects the sinuses and nasal passages.

Types of noninvasive fungal sinusitis include:

  • Allergic fungal rhinosinusitis
  • Mycetoma (a fungal ball that blocks the sinuses) [link to medical paper from the National Institute of Health here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17361410/ ]
  • Saprophytic fungal sinusitis

5. Fungal Sinus Infections Can—and Often Do– Return

It’s not unusual for fungal sinusitis to return, in which case you may need more treatment or even additional surgery to gently remove the fungus.

If you have symptoms of a sinus infection that won’t go away (chronic sinusitis) contact one of our local ENTs for an appointment. We can help you evaluate your overall risk of fungal sinusitis and determine a tailored treatment plan just for you.

Raleigh Capitol ENT’s Sinus Center Has the Treatment You Need and the Compassionate Care You Deserve

Our skilled surgeons are experts at treating fungal sinusitis. In addition, they also treat conditions such as nasal valve collapse, nasal polyps and even sleep apnea.

To schedule an appointment, contact us today.