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Allergic fungal sinusitis is a noninvasive disease (fungus does not invade the tissues) found in patients with chronic sinusitis who do not respond immediately to medical treatment such as multiple courses of antibiotics. Some common fungi associated with this condition include Alternaria, Fusarium, and Aspergillus and most patients have a compromised immune system.
Most patients reside in warm, humid climates/areas like Louisiana and South Carolina. This fungi can create years of distress with the patient visiting multiple doctors before receiving an effective treatment plan.
Allergic fungal sinusitis is children more difficult to diagnose, treat, and monitor. A medical doctor may find it harder to recognize that a child does not have typical allergies or sinus problems.
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Diagnoses and Symptoms
Common symptoms include thick, yellowish-green nasal discharge, chronic headaches, and nasal stuffiness.
A medical provider diagnoses allergic fungal sinusitis with a detailed medical history including a history of allergies and/or sinus problems and asking the patient about headaches and vision problems.
Suggested laboratory tests include checking for antibodies and fungal cultures. Also, a CT scan may show bone erosion and nasal polyps.
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Treatment for allergic fungal sinusitis includes surgery, medications, and nasal sprays. Surgical treatment involves removing accumulated fungal from the nasal cavity to provide normal breathing patterns. Oral medications such as prednisone can be used and monitored for a few weeks and nasal sprays should be used as prescribed by a physician.
Many patients find a combination of these treatments helpful. Although allergic fungal sinusitis in not considered invasive, a patient should be proactive in receiving care since this disease can create major medical problems including vision loss and severe headaches.
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Children with Allergic Fungal Sinusitis
Allergic fungal sinusitis in children requires a unique approach. The fact that children are in a rapid stage of developmental growth creates a challenge, as it means surgical treatment is not ideal. Also, some drugs can cause problems in children since their immune systems are not as strong.
For the best results, children should see a specialist who will be active in the child's medical treatment regarding anit-inflammatory drugs, immunotherapy, and surgeries. A primary physician can provide a referral to a specialist.
Managing allergic fungal sinusitis in children may take months with medical and surgical treatments explored to find optimal health for the young patient. However, this disease must be monitored to prevent more severe problems.