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Fungal Ball

What is a fungal ball?

A fungal ball – otherwise known as a mycetoma - is a collection of fungus which grows in one of your sinus’s – usually either the maxillary or sphenoid sinus.

Why does a fungal ball occur?

We all breath in thousands of spores of fungus per day. As we breath the fungus in some of the fungus deposits in our sinus’s. The fungus starts to grow in the moist environment of the sinus and develops into a fungal ball. This growth occurs over a long period of time – probably occurring over years.

What are the symptoms of a fungal ball?

Many patients with a fungal ball have no symptoms at all. In cases such as this the fungal ball is found on a CT Scan as a incidental finding. Other symptoms which you may get from a fungal ball are:

  • Runny nose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Facial pain or pressure on one side

How should a fungal ball be managed?

A fungal ball should be managed by surgery. The surgery involves opening the involved sinus and clearing all of the fungus out of the sinus. After the operation all patients need to use copious amounts of saline to their sinus’s to ensure that the sinus recovers appropriately. Usually once the sinus has recovered there is no requirement for ongoing use of saline irrigation.