Ethmoiditis

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Definition

Ethmoiditis is an infection of the ethmoidal cells in the sinuses. These are the air-filled spaces behind the nose and between the eyes.

Ethmoiditis is a type of sinusitis.

Causes

Bacteria cause most ethmoid sinus infections. Some types of fungus and viruses can also be involved.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually include:

  • Headache between the eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Loss of sense of smell

Symptoms of more serious infections can include:

  • Vision loss
  • Double vision
  • Redness or bulging of the eyes

Images

Sinuses

References

Benninger MS, Stokken JK. Acute rhinosinusitis: pathogenesis, treatment, and complications. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 46.

DeMuri GP, Wald ER. Sinusitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 62.

Review Date: 
8/12/2019
Reviewed By: 
Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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