A new thing to fear: sinus “fungus balls”.

By Seriously Science | January 9, 2017 6:00 am
Image: Flickr/David Goehring

Image: Flickr/David Goehring

We thought we hit rock bottom with intranasal leeches and intranasal teeth. But this is (amazingly) even more nauseating: paranasal sinus fungus balls. Apparently, it’s not terribly uncommon to have balls of fungus, often species of Aspergillus, grow in your sinuses. The fungus balls sometimes migrate around in there, and they can become a cause of sinus headaches. Luckily, they can be removed surgically with few side effects. Click through to the photo below… if you can stomach it. (You’ve been warned!)

Paranasal sinus fungus ball and surgery: a review of 175 cases.

“To analyze the surgical results after Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) in patients with paranasal sinus fungus ball.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective analysis of the results of FESS performed in 175 patients suffering from paranasal sinus fungus balls.

RESULTS: All maxillary (n = 150), sphenoidal (n = 20), and ethmoidal (n = 4) locations have been treated exclusively by FESS to obtain a wide opening of the affected sinuses, allowing a careful extraction of all fungal material without removal of the inflamed mucous membrane. No major complication occurred. Postoperative care was reduced to nasal lavage with topical steroids for 3 to 6 weeks. Only 1 case of local failure have been observed (maxillary sinus, n = 1), and 6 cases of persisting of fungus ball (maxillary sinus, n = 4; frontal sinus, n = 2) with a mean follow-up of 5 years. No medical treatment (antibiotic, antifungal) was required.

CONCLUSION: Surgical treatment of a fungus ball consists in opening the infected sinus cavity at the level of its ostium and removing fungal concretions while sparing the normal mucosa. No antifungal therapy is required. Finally, through this 175 patients study, FESS appears a reliable and safe surgical treatment with a low morbidity.”

B. Gross fungal ball. (Image source).

Related content:
Nasal leech infestation: report of seven leeches and literature review.
What’s worse than a leech in your ear? NOTHING!
Flashback Friday: Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study.
What doctors do when you get a live fish stuck in your throat. (Warning, it’s not pleasant.)

  • OWilson

    Disqus ting! :)

    • hinki

      that blows my mind

      • peggy.sanger

        Marc. if you feel Dawn `s comment is neat… on tuesday I got them selves a Jaguar XJ from making $4331 this-past/month or even more money than ten-k this past-month. with-out a doubt it truly is the easiest-job I have actually had. I started doing this 8-months earlier and almost immediately started off to bring home not less than $81.. per hour. Get the information…>> FACEBOOK.COM/Tina-E-King-610592265811198/app/208195102528120/

  • Erik Bowen

    But how does one prevent it in the first place?

    • hinki

      Rule number 1: avoid putting your nose everywhere

    • OWilson

      Maybe a vacuum cleaner under the bed?

      Watch out for the cat! :)

  • M S i N Lund

    Presenting the next republican candidate!
    How the hell are the Dems going to find some even worse to lose with?

    • OWilson

      No problem, you got lots of choices! :)


Seriously, Science?

Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
Follow us on Twitter: @srslyscience.
Send us paper suggestions: srslyscience[at]gmail.com.

See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar