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Fungal Sinusitis

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Fungus is present in all our surroundings and the air we inhale through the nose. It may be more prevalent in certain moist and humid environments. Most healthy people do not react to the presence of fungus inhaled through their noses on a daily basis, due to a normal functioning immune system. However, in very rare instances, fungus may cause acute or chronic inflammation in the nose and the sinuses.

Fungal sinusitis can come in many forms. It is broadly classified into invasive and non-invasive types:

  • Noninvasive: These types are generally non-life threatening and often times associated with certain environmental allergies. It is associated with chronic sinusitis.
  • Invasive: These types can progress rapidly and may be life-threatening, requiring hospital admission and further testing and treatments. These invasive infections are generally found in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, or patients undergoing chemotherapy for a variety of blood-related tumors (such as leukemia or lymphoma).

The symptoms of sinusitis may include:

  • General fatigue
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Nasal congestion or obstruction
  • Pain or pressure in face and sinuses
  • Runny nose with discolored thick drainage

Why Choose UHealth?

Highly specialized rhinology doctors. The experts at University of Miami Health are here to help you breathe easier, smell better, and rest better with an accurate diagnosis and leading edge treatments in a compassionate setting. Our fellowship-trained providers specialize in the nasal airway, and our rhinology specialists have completed specialized training in nasal and sinus disorders. They have dedicated their clinical and research careers to caring for nasal and sinus disorders.

Our academic health center provides you with more treatment options. Our ENT specialists are experts in the field of rhinology. As part of an academic health center, we are proud to offer breakthrough treatments not available to other facilities in South Florida. We also offer our patients early access to clinical trials and new medical and procedural treatments. We provide comprehensive care for a wide array of rhinologic conditions, backed by expertise, research, and education.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Medications

    If the infection is non-life threatening and the fungus is non-invasive, your ENT doctor may recommend medication, such as oral steroids or antifungal medications, to reduce inflammation. However, if you have invasive fungal sinusitis, our surgeons are ready for immediate intervention, including endoscopic sinus surgery, to remove tissue affected by the fungus.

  • Nasal Sprays

    Nasal decongestant sprays can be used to treat nasal stuffiness. They should not be used longer than three days. With long-term use of nasal decongestant sprays, the nose can become dependent on them, enlarging the turbinates, and causing nasal stuffiness can worsen, requiring turbinate surgery.

  • Nasal/Sinus Irrigation

    Your ENT specialist may recommend a nasal/sinus irrigation for your fungal sinusitis, particularly if you have had previous surgery. Sometimes topical antifungal or antibiotics (if there are associated bacterial infections) may be added to the irrigations.

  • Surgery

    With recent advances in technology, ENT surgeons can now perform endoscopic sinus surgery entirely through the nose, without face or mouth incisions. When minimally invasive surgery is not an option, the ENT surgeon may need to perform sinus surgery via an external approach. The goal of surgery is to remove all the fungus-infected mucus and tissues, to allow the sinuses to heal, and to allow topical (on the skin) therapies.


Tests

  • Nasal Endoscopy

    Your ENT doctor inserts a thin, flexible or rigid endoscope with a tiny camera attached to a high definition monitor, to visually inspect the inside of the sinuses to help determine the extent of the fungal sinusitis. This test is more likely to be used in the case of chronic sinusitis.

  • Imaging

    Images obtained from computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help your doctor see details of your sinuses and nasal passages, and determine how much the fungus has spread through your sinuses.

  • Nasal and Sinus Cultures

    When your fungal sinusitis is long-lasting and does not respond to treatment, your ENT specialist may recommend taking a culture (mucous or tissue sample) from the nasal area or sinuses, to further assess the exact microbe (fungus or bacterial) contributing to your sinusitis and nasal inflammation.

  • Allergy Testing

    If your ENT specialist thinks that allergies may be contributing to your chronic sinusitis, he or she may order an allergy skin test or consult with an allergist. This test may help determine the allergen that’s causing inflammation and exacerbating the chronic sinusitis.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care