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Ethmoiditis

Ethmoiditis is an infection or inflammation 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

References

Benninger MS, Roxbury CR, Stokken JK. Acute rhinosinusitis: pathogenesis, treatment, and complications. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 40.

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.

  • Sinuses

    Sinuses - illustration

    The sinuses are hollow cavities within the facial bones. Sinuses are not fully developed until after age 12. When people speak of sinus infections, they are most frequently referring to the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses.

    Sinuses

    illustration

    • Sinuses

      Sinuses - illustration

      The sinuses are hollow cavities within the facial bones. Sinuses are not fully developed until after age 12. When people speak of sinus infections, they are most frequently referring to the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses.

      Sinuses

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 8/31/2021

    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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