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What are the symptoms of fungal sinusitis?

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Common symptoms of fungal sinusitis include facial discomfort or pressure, abnormally elevated body temperature, headache, stuffy nose and discharge, coughing, unpleasant-smelling breath, weakened sense of smell and toothache, which particularly affects the upper teeth, states Everyday Health. The same set of symptoms is also present in viral or bacterial sinusitis.

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Fungal sinusitis develops when fungal microorganisms trigger an inflammatory response in the nasal sinuses. The majority of fungal sinusitis infections are non-invasive, which means that these types of infections are confined to only one area. A non-invasive fungal sinusitis has the same symptoms as a classic sinusitis. The manifestation of these symptoms is known to make patients gravely ill, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

A rare but more serious form of fungal sinusitis is called invasive fungal sinusitis, which is further categorized into two types: acute and chronic. Acute invasive fungal sinusitis is characterized by an impaired immune system, while a chronic infection has typically migrated to other parts of the body aside from the sinuses and nasal cavity.

Patients with an invasive infection may experience changes in behavioral and cognitive processes, visual irregularities and dark ulcers within the nasal cavity or on the palate. Those diagnosed with long-term invasive fungal sinusitis may suffer from drainage, nasal blockage and pressure in the forehead, behind the eyes and nose. A condition known as orbital apex syndrome may also be present in the case of a persistent sinus fungal infection, which can cause ocular immobility and diminish visual function, explains UPMC.

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