What is it?

Fungal sinusitis is a sinus infection that results from a fungus. Several types of fungal sinus infections cause similar symptoms. These may include nasal congestion and sinus pain
Providers treat most cases of fungal sinusitis with sinus surgery, and extreme forms may require additional anti-fungal treatment. But people with healthy immune systems may not need treatment. Some fungal sinus infections clear up without intervention.
People who have conditions that weaken the immune system (such as diabetes and leukemia) are much more likely to get fungal sinusitis. They also have a higher risk of complications. Some types of fungal sinusitis can destroy the lining of the nose, spread to the brain and lead to death.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Fungal rhinosinusitis

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of fungal sinusitis include:
* Decreased sense of smell or a bad smell in the nose.
* Fever.
* Inflammation (swelling) in the nose and sinuses.
* Nasal congestion and runny nose.
* Pain, tenderness and pressure in the sinus area. It may hurt when you touch your cheeks or forehead.
* Sinus headache.

People with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of serious symptoms of fungal sinusitis. These include:
* Behavioral changes and neurological problems (trouble with thinking and reasoning).
* Changes in skin color (the skin may turn very pale or black).
* Facial numbness.
* Proptosis (eyeballs that protrude, or stick out, from the eye sockets).
* Severe swelling in the cheeks or eyes.
* Vision changes, vision loss and blindness.


To diagnose a fungal sinus infection, your provider will do a physical exam. They will ask about your symptoms, health history and medications. Then, your provider may remove some mucus or tissue from your sinuses and send it to a lab. The lab tests for fungus.
Your provider may also order a CT scan. This imaging study uses X-rays and a computer to see detailed images of your sinuses. It helps your provider locate the infection or check for a fungal ball. It also helps them develop an effective treatment plan.
An endoscopy can also help your provider diagnose and evaluate a fungal sinus infection. During this procedure, your provider inserts a long, thin tube with a camera into your nose. The camera shows images of your nose and sinuses. Your provider views these images on a monitor.


Fungal sinusitis treatments vary. People with healthy immune systems may not need treatment for some types of fungal sinus infections. Invasive fungal sinus infections require immediate treatment.
Treatments include:
* Antifungal medications- Some types of infection require medications to kill the fungus. Providers usually prescribe these drugs along with surgery.
* Corticosteroid medications- Your provider may prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation and relieve sinus pressure.
* Nasal wash- To treat saprophytic fungal sinusitis, providers remove crusts of mucus and wash out the sinuses. They usually use a saline solution (a mix of water and salt) to cleanse the sinus cavities.
* Surgery- Depending on the type of infection, your provider may do traditional surgery or minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. They insert a long, flexible tube with a camera into your nose and use tiny tools to remove the fungus, fungal ball and any damaged tissue.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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