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Severe fungus sinusitis. Used a nasal rinse, feels like ti pushed it further up. How can clear it ?

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I have a severe fungus sinusitis. My doctor told me to use a nasal rinse. I did and I can feel it pushed the fungus farther up in
to my head. I am scared. I cannot breathe except through my mouth. How can I clear my sinuses? Do I need to go to the emergency room? Will the fungus get into my brain?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 7 hours later

Thanks for the query

First of all, I would like to reassure you that not all fungal sinusitis are of the invasive types that can spread into the brain.

It is the irritation of the mucosa which is felt when the water you used to rinse the nose touches it, giving rise to sensation as if the water has gone into the brain, but in reality, it is not.

As I mentioned above, there are various types of fungal sinusitis, and all of them are not invasive. It depends on the associated factors such as diabetes, HIV, immuno-compromised state (cancer, immune-suppressive drug therapy, and severe malnutrition), virulence of the organism, old age, etc. It is very unusual that all the individuals can have all the above associated factors.

If it were to be an invasive one, your doctor would have informed you immediately after examining you. Moreover you will require a computerised tomography scan (CT scan) of the paranasal sinuses (PNS) and the brain to confirm the destruction and extension of the disease.

1. I cannot breathe except through my mouth. How can I clear my sinuses?
A: This is usually noticed when there is congestion of the nasal mucosa along with the presence of crusts and discharge. You can try doing the nasal douching for time being, to relieve the block and clear the mucus secretions. But, it would be better to go for surgery if the sinus openings are blocked and the treatment fails, rather than suffering from the allergic symptoms. Discuss this issue with your doctor.

2. Do I need to go to the emergency room?
A: I do not think that you need to rush. As I have already mentioned above, it is a mere irritation of the nasal mucosa when a foreign body touches it. Gradually, you will get used to it.
3. Will the fungus get into my brain?
A: It is very unusual that the fungus can get into the brain just by doing the nasal douching; there are no direct openings from the nose to the brain. If the disease has to spread, it has to do so, by invading the tissues surrounding it.

I would suggest you to discuss thoroughly with your doctor, and get a CT scan of the PNS and the brain to confirm the extent of the disease and type of fungal sinusitis.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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