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Fungal Sinusitis is the infection of the sinuses caused by a fungus. This type of sinusitis is not as common as other types. In rare occasions, a fungus will cause an inflammation of the sinuses and nose. Though when it does, it could cause serious sinus problems that need to be medically treated.
There are two main categories of Fungal Sinusitis, non-evasive and evasive. Within these two categories, there are 5 types of Fungal Sinusitis. Let's take a look at each to gain a deeper understanding of their cause and what is done to treat them.
Non-invasive sinusitis means that the fungal infection is contained within your sinuses and has not spread to the surrounding tissue and bone within your sinus cavities..
Allergic Fungal Sinusitis is an airborne allergic reaction to an environmental fungus. The allergy to the fungus causes nasal polyps and mucin. Once this occurs, surgery will be needed to remove the polyps and mucin from the sinus cavities. Directly following surgery, a treatment involving immunotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication will be given. If you have a history of Allergic Sinusitis, you will be more likely to develop Allergic Fungal Sinusitis.
Fungus Ball occurs when there is an overgrowth of fungus in the sinuses that essentially form into a ball. Mold is the most common cause of the Fungus Ball type of Fungal Sinusitis. It is necessary to remove them with surgery. Though once removed, it is unlikely for them to recur again.
All forms of Invasive Sinusitis are extremely dangerous, but also exceedingly rare. Invase means that the fungal infection that started within your sinuses has spread to the sournding tissue, bone, and blood vessels. This can lead to necrosis of the bone and flesh, which means that the fungus is no longer eating dead matter within your sinuses, but is killing living flesh. The following are the three main types of invasive sinusitis.
Acute Fungal Sinusitis can be very dangerous. Fortunately, it is very rare. It is usually seen in patients with a highly compromised immune system due to anther illness. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant are most susceptible to Acute Fungal Sinusitis. The fungus effects the sinus tissue and spreads into blood vessels causing deterioration of the tissues. Surgery is necessary to remove the dead tissues. Anti-fungal medications are prescribed and follow up surgery may be required.
Chronic Fungal Sinusitis develops slowly over time and is more likely seen in patients with AIDS, Diabetes mellitus, or other reduce immunity diseases. Inflammatory lesions develop, and a combination of surgery and medications are required for treatment.
Granulomatous (or Indolent) Fungal Sinusitis is not as common in the United States as it is in countries such as India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Developing over time, it is seen in patients with a regular immune system. The fungus causes a mass in the sinus, nose and cheek. Surgery combined with anti-fungal medications is usually necessary for treatment.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as sinus pain, headache, fever, and mucus build-up lasting for days, it is recommended you go see your doctor. Proper diagnosis early on could help prevent more serious complications. Your healthcare provider can properly treat the specific type of Sinusitis you are experiencing. Most Fungal Sinusitis cases require surgery and follow up treatments making it important for you to seek professional help.