Fungal Sinusitis: Types, Symptoms, And Treatment

Fungi are large group of eukaryotic organisms, that can be found nearly everywhere on the planet, even in the human body. Fungi comprise microorganisms like molds, yeast, mushrooms, etc. They are about 50,000 kinds of fungi, of which only some dozens are known to conduce illness in humans. Usually, fungi coexist with other microorganisms that dwell in the body, in a natural balance. However, sometimes fungi result in minor to life-threatening infections. When certain fungi cause inflammation of the sinuses, the condition is known as fungal sinus infection. Fungal sinus infection causes comprise debilitated immune system and allergic reaction to the fungi.

Types of Fungal Sinusitis Infection

Fungal sinus infection is divided into 4 categories:

Fungal Ball

Overgrowth of fungal elements in the maxillary sinus or cheek is called fungal ball sinus infection. An organism belonging to the Aspergillus family (common bread mold family), is responsible for this condition. Patients suffering from this, usually have a history of recurrent sinus infections. Their sinuses will be blocked by the fungus, however, no bone destruction is observed. The treatment of fungal ball sinus infection involves removal of the fungal ball.

Allergic Fungal Sinusitis Infection

Allergic fungal sinusitis infection is caused by fungi belonging to the Dematiaceous family and are quite common in the environment. Thick drainage and nasal polyps are observed when infected by this fungi. The treatment comprises removal of all fungal elements from the sinus and re-establishment of sinus drainage. The recurrence of this sinus infection is higher than the fungal ball, due to the allergic component (people are allergic to this fungus) involved in this condition. The infected sinus of the patient will be blocked. Bone thinning and occasional bone destruction can also be observed. Most of the times, intermittent surgical management and lifelong medical attention is required.

Chronic and Acute Fungal Sinusitis Infection

These two types are the least common and most deleterious type of fungal sinusitis. In the acute type, the fungus grows deep into the sinus tissues and bones. On the other hand, the chronic type, though similar to the acute one, is much slower in spreading itself. The ones who get infected by acute sinusitis are people who are immuno-compromised. For example, people who have undergone chemotherapy or those with uncontrolled diabetes get affected. On the other hand, the ones infected by the chronic type are those with normal immune system. This fungal sinus infection causes mold spores and dead tissue that can be seen on examination of the nose. Moreover, it also conduces sinus blockage, swelling in the affected areas of the facial tissues and bone destruction. This condition is oft fatal and requires a combination of anti-fungal medications and surgery. Read more on Sinus pressure points.

Fungal Sinus Infection Symptoms

The symptoms of chronic sinus infections and fungal sinus infection are the same. In addition to the symptoms of chronic sinus infections, there are some other symptoms as well. The combined list is as follows:

* Nasal congestion

* Facial and dental pain

* Cough at night

* Fever

* Sore Throat

* Headache

* Eye pain

* Bad breath

* Feeling of debilitation

Fever can frequently occur. It can last for 5 days, which subsides and then erupts again. Persistent sore throat that does not heal. This is due to oral thrush that is conduced by a weakened immune system. Consumption of too many antibiotics can destroy good bacteria and cause oral thrush.

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Posted on Dec 22, 2009