The Sciences

A new thing to fear: sinus "fungus balls".

Image: Flickr/David Goehring
'Image: Flickr/<a href='https:

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We thought we hit rock bottom with intranasal leeches and intranasal teeth. But this is (amazingly) even more nauseating: paranasal sinus fungus balls. Apparently, it’s not terribly uncommon to have balls of fungus, often species of Aspergillus, grow in your sinuses. The fungus balls sometimes migrate around in there, and they can become a cause of sinus headaches. Luckily, they can be removed surgically with few side effects. Click through to the photo below… if you can stomach it. (You’ve been warned!)

Paranasal sinus fungus ball and surgery: a review of 175 cases.

“To analyze the surgical results after Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) in patients with paranasal sinus fungus ball.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective analysis of the results of FESS performed in 175 patients suffering from paranasal sinus fungus balls.

RESULTS: All maxillary (n = 150), sphenoidal (n = 20), and ethmoidal (n = 4) locations have been treated exclusively by FESS to obtain a wide opening of the affected sinuses, allowing a careful extraction of all fungal material without removal of the inflamed mucous membrane. No major complication occurred. Postoperative care was reduced to nasal lavage with topical steroids for 3 to 6 weeks. Only 1 case of local failure have been observed (maxillary sinus, n = 1), and 6 cases of persisting of fungus ball (maxillary sinus, n = 4; frontal sinus, n = 2) with a mean follow-up of 5 years. No medical treatment (antibiotic, antifungal) was required.

CONCLUSION: Surgical treatment of a fungus ball consists in opening the infected sinus cavity at the level of its ostium and removing fungal concretions while sparing the normal mucosa. No antifungal therapy is required. Finally, through this 175 patients study, FESS appears a reliable and safe surgical treatment with a low morbidity.”

'B. Gross fungal ball. (<a href='https:

B. Gross fungal ball. (Image source).

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