Have you ever felt a sharp pain in your sinuses when you bend down? This could be due to inflammation of the cavities around your nasal passage as a result of an infection. Fungal sinusitis is when the inflammation is caused due to a fungal infection.
If you have a weak immune system, you are at a greater risk of fungal infections as your body creates a favorable atmosphere for the fungi to invade.1The sinuses are ideal for fungi as they need a dark and moist environment to thrive.
Types Of Fungal Sinusitis
Fungal sinusitis can be broadly classified into two types: non-invasive fungal sinusitis and invasive fungal sinusitis. Allergic fungal sinusitis and mycetoma fungal sinusitis are non-invasive, which means that the infection does not spread undesirably. On the other hand, invasive sinusitis can be acute and chronic, both of which spread to other body parts and require medical attention.
- Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS): This is caused due to an allergic reaction to the fungi present in the environment. Mucus and thick fungal debris block the nasal airways. If you have AFS, you may have allergies, asthma, and nasal polyps and experience a loss of smell.2
- Mycetoma fungal sinusitis: This fungal infection is characterized by the presence of small “fungus balls” or clumps of mold in the sinuses. Although these don’t spread, they can cause discomfort in the sinuses.3
- Invasive fungal sinusitis: As the name suggests, this infection can progress rapidly and spread to the eyes, blood vessels, and the central nervous system (CNS). While acute invasive fungal sinusitis spreads quickly, chronic invasive fungal sinusitis spreads more slowly and is often confused with a sinus infection.4
Some of the fungi that cause fungal sinusitis include:
- Aspergillus species
- Cryptococcus neoformans
- Candida species
- Sporothrix schenckii
- Alternaria species
- Curvularia species
Symptoms Of Fungal Sinusitis
The symptoms of fungal sinusitis may vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common signs:
- Head and/or nasal congestion
- Muscle ache
- Diminished sense of smell
- Thick nasal drainage
Ways To Prevent Fungal Sinusitis
To get rid of fungus, create an environment that is not friendly for the fungus. Here are 3 ways you can keep fungus away.
1. Strengthen Your Immune System
A strong immune system goes a long way in protecting you from all kinds of infections. When your immune system is weak, bacteria, virus, and fungi can enter your sinuses and cause infections. To maintain a healthy immune system, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, get sufficient sleep (at least 8 hours), avoid eating refined carbs, and reduce alcohol consumption.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercising not only helps you stay healthy but also increases your body temperature while clearing out the congestion in your sinuses. With the mucus, all the unwanted, harmful particles are also eliminated, leaving you with a pressure-free and clean sinus.
3. Inhale Steam
Steam infused with essential oils has antifungal properties. Inhaling this is one of the best ways to decongest your airways and say goodbye to infections. Oregano, thyme, lemongrass, clove, lavender, and tea tree essential oil can relieve the symptoms of fungal sinusitis. Remember, getting rid of an infection through this method is a slow process. Natural therapies usually take a while to heal.
Risk Factors For Fungal Sinusitis
Misuse of antibiotics, birth control pills, recreational drugs, alcohol, and stress can increase the risk of contracting a fungal infection. Exposing yourself to fungus and molds can also wreak havoc on your health. To avoid this, ensure that your house is well-ventilated and does not have any leaky walls or roofs. Practice yoga and meditation or figure out your own way to reduce stress. Try to limit drug use by considering natural remedies.
Note: Antibiotics do not respond to fungal infections. In fact, it can make them worse. When you take antibiotics, small amounts of good bacteria are also killed along with the bad bacteria. This leaves your body more susceptible to infections.
|↑1||Fungal Infections. MedlinePlus.|
|↑2||Schubert, Mark S. “Allergic fungal sinusitis: pathophysiology, diagnosis and management.” Medical Mycology 47, no. Supplement_1 (2009): S324-S330.|
|↑3||Grosjean, Pierre, and Rainer Weber. “Fungus balls of the paranasal sinuses: a review.” European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 264, no. 5 (2007): 461-470.|
|↑4||Stringer, Scott P., and Matthew W. Ryan. “Chronic invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.” Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America 33, no. 2 (2000): 375-387.|