Invasive Fungal Sinusitis

Overview

Invasive fungal sinusitis is a serious infection that begins in the sinuses after certain types of fungus are inhaled. It irritates sinuses and can spread quickly to the eyes, blood vessels and central nervous system (CNS).

Symptoms

There are two types of invasive fungal sinusitis. Both can be life threatening. Acute invasive fungal sinusitis, which spreads quickly, is a medical emergency. Chronic invasive fungal sinusitis spreads more slowly and is sometimes mistaken for a sinus infection.

People with acute invasive fungal sinusitis are usually very ill and have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Change in mental status
  • Changes in vision
  • Congestion and nasal discharge
  • Facial pain, numbness and/or swelling
  • Fever
  • Headache
Symptoms of chronic invasive fungal sinusitis include:

  • Congestion, drainage
  • Facial pain and pressure, much like that of a long-standing sinus infection

Diagnosis

First, you’ll meet with your doctor for a physical exam and to discuss your symptoms. If you are diagnosed with invasive fungal sinusitis, your Aurora care team, including neurologists and neurosurgeons from the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute (ANII), will create a treatment plan to meet your specific needs.

Treatment Options

Whether the diagnosis is acute or chronic invasive fungal sinusitis, nasal surgery will be required to remove the infected tissue. Your neurosurgeon may use the Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA), a minimally invasive procedure in which the tissue is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery than with traditional surgery.

Antifungal medication and frequent follow-up appointments will help prevent another infection.

A revolutionary procedure

Dr. Amin Kassam, vice president for Neurosciences at Aurora Health Care, explains the Expanded Endonasal Approach, a minimally invasive surgery technique.

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