Fulminant Sinusitis and Supressed Immune System

Fulminant Sinusitis

Fulminant sinusitis is a very serious condition and can be life threatening in some cases. Fungal sinusitis symptoms associated with the condition include both facial pain and swelling as well as protrusion of the eyes. Of the two types of sinusitis caused by fungi, the fulminant variant is of the much more serious classification of infections known as types of invasive fungal sinusitis. In the non invasive forms, it’s not uncommon for a fungal sinus infection to occur in generally healthy people who have allergies to airborne fungus or a recent injury or trauma to the sinus cavity. However, fulminant sinusitis predominantly occurs in people who have a depressed immune system.

The condition commonly affects people who have diabetes that is not well managed, according to Medscape.com. People who have certain conditions such as problems with the kidney, chronic diarrhea or other disorders that can contribute to metabolic acidosis are also thought to be at higher risk of developing fulminant sinusitis. Medscape.com also indicates that people that are in immunosuppressed states as a result of chemotherapy are also at a high risk of developing this serious and invasive form of fungal sinusitis. And, those recovering from transplants as well as those that have hematologic disorders are at higher risk as well. Sufferers of AIDS, a condition which greatly reduces the capacity of the immune system to function, are also more susceptible to an invasive form of fungal infection as well. A smaller percentage of people who acquire fulminant sinusitis are sufferers of conditions such as pancreatitis, renal disease and leukemia.

The airborne spores make their way into the sinus cavities of people who at risk and then penetrate the tissues inside. Because of the dark and moist environment found within the sinuses, it’s not difficult for the fungus to grow and thrive relatively easily. Of course, the suppressed immune system of the host does little to counteract the often prolific growth of the fungus, and damage from the infection can occur rapidly. Symptoms of fulminant sinusitis often include persistent pain similar to a sinus headache and bulging eyes. Medscape points out that another symptom that can be found in fulminant sinusitis include noticeable swelling of the facial areas.

Fulminant sinusitis treatment is always surgical in nature, as is similar to other non invasive forms of the condition including chronic sinusitis treatment for the allergy induced forms. Prompt surgery is needed to fully remove the fungal matter from the sinus cavity. Antifungal medications are often used intravenously to continue to counteract the fungal source of the infection.
Underlying health conditions and the cause of the immunosupressed state seem to play a factor in determining the outcomes of treatment. Medscape explains that patients who are diabetic that are treated for fulminant sinusitis have a survival rate of sixty percent. This is less than the seventy percent survival rate that is noted in patients that do not have underlying diseases. Some conditions can produce survival rates as low as twenty percent, which puts even greater emphasis on the importance of fast and accurate diagnosis of the condition.

Because of the seriousness of the condition and the associated high rates of mortality in some cases, it’s absolutely critical that medical attention be sought at the very onset of unusual symptoms that can be associated with fulminant sinusitis. While it’s abundantly evident that the health of the affected individual in relation to underlying medical problems is extremely pertinent to the success of treatment and resulting survival rates, the fast detection and prompt diagnosis of fulminant sinusitis are equally if not more important.