More Information on Fungal Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms will vary based on the type of fungal sinus infection.
Symptoms of acute invasive fungal sinusitis usually develop quickly and can include:
  • Fever
  • Pain in the face
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Bloody nose
  • Change in vision or mental status.
These infections are quite serious; in some cases, they can even cause loss of life. Getting prompt treatment is very important.
Fungal infections can also be chronic (allergic fungal sinusitis and chronic invasive fungal sinusitis). In these cases, the symptoms are similar to those of chronic sinusitis (nasal stuffiness, discharge, pressure in the face, cough). With chronic invasive fungal sinusitis, a person may also have changes in vision and decreases in eye movement. With allergic fungal sinusitis, a person may have bulging of one or both eyes.

How Is Fungal Sinusitis Diagnosed?

When a healthcare provider suspects a fungal sinus infection, he or she will order several tests, including a computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the sinuses. He or she will then look into the sinuses using a lighted camera. A small piece of tissue (biopsy) will then be removed. If fungi are seen in this biopsy, a diagnosis of a fungal sinus infection is made.

Treatment Options

Surgery is recommended in most cases of fungal sinusitis. This procedure is used to clean out as much of the infection as possible and restore drainage and air flow to sinuses. In some cases, surgery may be the only treatment needed. For invasive forms of this sinus infection, antifungal medicines may also be necessary.
Some types of fungal sinusitis respond well to medicines and/or surgery, although the condition can come back even after successful treatment.
Acute invasive fungal sinus infections can be difficult to cure; this is because most people with this type of infection have weakened immune systems to begin with. For the best chance of curing the infection, early treatment is important. The course of treatment can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to months, depending on how the person responds.
Once the infection has been cured, some people may need to continue their antifungal medicine for several more months to prevent an infection from returning. Others, such as those with especially weakened immune systems, may require preventive antifungal medicines for the rest of their lives.

Sinusitis (Sinus Infection) Information

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