Fungal Sinus Infection: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, and Testing

Recurring Fungal Sinus Infection: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, and Testing


Yeast, mold, and other fungi are common in indoor and outdoor environments. These pathogens are everywhere

from household surfaces, in the air we breathe, and some cases even currently in our nose and sinuses. For

people with allergies to mold, a humid and windy day can be a challenge. For example, hospital Emergency rooms have recorded an increase in upper respiratory attacks just before a rainstorm.

Inclement weather can stimulate mold in the ground to release spores into the wind. In 1999, the  Mayo clinic published a study showed that 82% of patients with chronic sinusitis had fungal elements in their sinus mucus. The study proposed that most cases of chronic sinusitis were caused by eosinophils, a type of disease-fighting white blood cell, damaging the sinus tissue while attempting to eliminate fungi.

Symptoms of Fungal Sinus Infection

  • The infection lasts for at least ten days without any evidence of clinical improvement.
  • Infection is severe, including fever exceeding 102°F.
  • Post nasal drip and tenderness in the face last for at least three to four consecutive days at the beginning of an illness.
  • Symptoms or signs of an upper respiratory infection worsen, with new fever or headache developing or nasal discharge increasing. This typically occurs after a viral upper respiratory infection that lasted five or six days and initially seemed to improve.

Causes of Sinus Infections

Symptoms of recurring fungal sinus infection are similar to those of acute or reoccurring bacterial or viral sinus infections. Viruses that meet your nasal cavity can lead to a viral sinus infection. Most often, viral upper respiratory infections (the common cold) are the cause.

Bacteria in the lining of your nasal cavity can also cause sinus infections. The bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, well known as the cause of strep throat, is the most common cause of sinus infections. Another common reason is the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, which, despite its name, can cause illnesses other than influenza.

Current Methods of Testing for Reoccurring Sinus Infection 

Most often, diagnoses of bacterial sinus infections are based on medical history and examination by a doctor. Your doctor will check for tenderness in your nose and face, and look inside your nose. Methods for diagnosing chronic sinusitis include:

  • Looking into your sinuses. A thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light inserted through your nose allows your doctor to see the inside of your sinuses and check for physical abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests. Images taken using CT or MRI can show details of your sinuses and nasal area. These can pinpoint a deep inflammation or physical obstruction that’s difficult to detect using an endoscope.
  • Allergy test. If your doctor suspects that allergies might be triggering your chronic bacterial sinusitis, they may recommend an allergy skin test.
  • Sinus secretion (cultures). Your doctor may swab inside your nose to collect samples that might help determine the cause, such as bacteria or fungi.
  • Xplore-PATHO  

Xplore-PATHO Testing 

Several factors play a role in sinus infections, thus comprehensively identifying the sinus infection is imperative.  Current standard methods of recurring nasal infection testing leave a vast majority of possible infections completely undiagnosed. In some cases, it is difficult to determine precisely which bacterium, fungus, or virus is causing your reoccurring sinus infection. And, when it comes to a recurring fungal sinus infection, what happens in the biome of your nose may be complicated. In most cases, Xplore-PATHO deep swab collection kit can be of use. This collection kit can be used to determine if any known sequenced pathogen is within the sample.