What Is Fungal Sinusitis?
Your head hurts, and your face and teeth ache. Worse yet, your nose is extremely congested. Are your sinuses to blame? Your ENT doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA offer accurate diagnosis and treatment of symptoms typical of acute and chronic sinus infections. Learn here about common fungal sinusitis and how to deal with it.
What is fungal sinusitis?
Fungal sinusitis is an infection of the air-filled spaces in the skull. They surround the nose and are an essential part of the respiratory system. Of the four types of sinus cavities, frontal, ethmoid, maxillary and sphenoid, fungal sinusitis typically affects the maxillary and sphenoid sinuses with symptoms such as :
- A headache
- Facial pain and tenderness
- A cough
- Nasal congestion and thick mucous discharge (green and yellow)
- Bad breath
With fungal sinusitis, a microorganism called Aspergillus is inhaled, invading and settling into the maxillary sinuses above the front teeth in the cheek area and the sphenoid sinuses behind the nose. Typically, the infection is asymmetrical--that is, affecting sinuses only on one side of the face.
More about sinusitis
Other causes of sinusitis are allergies and various bacteria. Structural abnormalities in the sinuses due to polyps or a deviated septum (the lateral displacement of the thin bone which runs divides the interior of the nose) lead to infection, too.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology says that the most destructive and dangerous kinds of sinusitis occur when a patient is immunosuppressed because of cancer, diabetes or other serious health problem. Additionally, this group of sinus experts reports that cases of sinusitis have risen in number over the past 30 years, due in part to greater public awareness of the problem, more therapies which suppress the immune system (such as cancer treatment) and greater use of antibiotics.
Your caring team of doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat can help. Your ENT doctor will review your medical history, current medications and your symptoms. Your doctor may use endoscopic inspection, digital X-ray imaging and other scans as needed.
Treatment may entail endoscopic removal of the fungal mass and anti-fungal medications as needed. However, prevention is the best medicine. You may be able to avoid sinus infections by:
- Using a sinus spray or oral decongestant at the first sign of infection
- Routinely blowing your nose (be gentle)
- Staying hydrated
You don't have to suffer from fungal sinusitis. At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, we are here to help you feel and function at your very best. Call today for a consultation: (805) 379-9646.