Fungal sinusitis is a sinus infection that is caused by environmental fungus or mold. Since this infection can be caused by fungus or mold that is present everywhere, including the air we breathe, healthy people with a good immune system are not typically affected by these fungi. However, when the immune system is weakened or in other special instances, fungus can cause inflammation in the nose and sinuses.
In recent years, fungal infections have been increasingly found to be the cause for many cases of chronic rhinosinusitis. Since the findings are still relatively new, the evidence is controversial. It is known that most cases of fungal sinusitis are noninvasive (except for individuals that are immunocompromised) and that there are two major types of fungal sinusitis.
Invasive Fungal Sinusitis
There is invasive fungal sinusitis, which affects patients who are immunocompromised with conditions like AIDS or diabetes. There is acute invasive fungal sinusitis, which typically lasts less than 4 weeks, and chronic invasive fungal sinusitis, which is a slow, destructive process that normally lasts 3 months. Treatments for this type of sinusitis includes surgery and medical therapy, which may involve anti-fungal drugs and medications to restore the patient’s immune system.
Non-Invasive Fungal Sinusitis
The other type of fungal sinusitis is non-invasive, which includes fungus ball, allergic fungal sinusitis, and non-allergic fungal sinusitis. This infection can cause symptoms like nasal congestion, drainage, and headaches. These non-invasive sinusitis conditions might require medical treatment or a surgical procedure like endoscopic sinus surgery.
Fungal Sinusitis Symptoms
Those with this type of sinusitis may experience several symptoms, such as:
Facial pain or numbness
Mental status changes
Dark ulcers within the nasal canal or on the roof of the mouth
Fungal Sinusitis Treatments
Treatment options for this condition will vary based on the type and severity of the condition. Medical treatment for this type of sinusitis can vary from non-surgical options like anti-fungal drugs and medications to surgical options like endoscopic sinus surgery. If you are experiencing symptoms of this condition, it is advised to contact your ENT professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Our ENT doctor’s at Totum Health promise to provide attentive, patient-centered care, and every Totum Health team member is dedicated to giving the best healthcare experience possible.