It is inevitable, every time you breathe, you are exposed to fungus. It’s all around us, in the grass, and trees, it is even on our skin and clothes. But don’t worry, out of the many million of species of fungus, there are only around 300 that can make us ill. 

Unfortunately, many of those fungus that can trigger a sinus infection are right here in Central Florida. While many fungal infections are treatable and don’t lead to life threatening illness, in some cases, they can lead to serious complications and even death. 

Timely Treatment For Any Sinus Infection is Important 

Fungal sinusitis can be classified into two categories, invasive and non-invasive

The most common type is the non-invasive, which is generally restricted to the sinus and nasal areas. While the invasive fungal sinusitis invades to local tissue. 

There are four types of fungal sinusitis, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery:

Saprophytic Fungus—This happens when fungus or mold grows on top of mucus or mucous crusts inside the nose. In this case, the fungus is not really infecting the nasal tissue, it’s just “living” off the mucus in the nose. This may not cause any additional symptoms that were not already present, and treatment is simple removal of the crusts with nasal washes or other methods.

Fungus Ball—This is caused by fungus getting caught in one of the sinuses, forming clumps of material that often contain bacteria as well. This is most often in the maxillary, or cheek, sinus, and usually occurs in patients whose immune system is working fine. Often there are no symptoms, other than slight discomfort until the fungus ball grows large enough to block off the sinus. This form of fungal sinusitis requires simple surgery to open and wash out the sinus. 

Allergic Fungal Sinusitis (AFS)—This form of fungal sinusitis results from an allergic reaction to any one of several different common fungi, and usually occurs in patients whose immune system is working well. Patients may only notice allergic-like symptoms of nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. As AFS gets worse, it can cause the sinuses to fill with thick mucus. Eventually, the sinuses can get bigger and start changing the appearance of the eyes and face. Surgery is required to treat this form of sinusitis, and without continued medical therapy afterwards, recurrence is common.

Invasive Fungal Sinusitis—This is a severe infection of the nasal and sinus lining that can lead to the destruction of nasal/sinus tissue. 

The symptoms of fungal sinusitis and other types of sinusitis are very similar. Including, facial pain and pressure, as well as nasal congestion and drainage.

If you or a loved one is suffering from sinus issues, isn’t it time you get relief…Contact Orlando Ears, Nose & Throat and start improving your quality of life.

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