Sphenoid Sinusitis: One of The Most Dangerous Sinus Infection

Sphenoid sinuses are just behind the skull, above the nasopharynx and just below the pituitary gland. It is difficult to identify  diseases in this part because of its location. In front of the sphenoid sinuses are the ethmoid sinuses.  


Symptoms of Sphenoid Sinusitis

Symptoms of sphenoid sinusitis are also the same with other sinuses. The patient may experience colds, mucus discharge and weakened sense of smell.

A person can only determine if the infection has reached the sphenoid when he feels the pain on top of your head or at the back of the neck. This part of the sinus cannot be infected easily.

The basic explanation for this is its location. It would be hard for bacteria or viruses to reach it because the location is not that  easy to penetrate.

It is not easy to diagnose sphenoid sinusitis. The doctor needs to get a sample of blood or sweat to know if there are traces of bacteria and fungus in the sinus. Another way to know the condition of the sphenoid is by CT Scan.

Sphenoid sinusitis should not be taken for granted because progressive growth of the infection can cause neurological damage. Of all the sinuses, the sphenoid is one of the most sensitive because of the connection between the sinus and the optic nerve.

Cysts can be found on the Sphenoid Sinus.

sphenoid-sinusitisCysts are particularly common on the sinuses. They are pocketlike tissues containing liquid or semisolid materials inside. Even a person who never complained about any sinus complications may have cysts.

They are not harmful. Few numbers of cysts in the sinuses cannot cause any complications.

It can only be considered as harmful when it is growing in number and has already started blocking and stopping the reproduction of healthy cells. In order for a person to know if cysts are present in your sinuses, he has to undergo CT Scan.

Surgical Operation for Sphenoid Sinus

For surgical operations involving sphenoid sinus, it can be extremely risky. It can be found just below the brain. Surgery can causeus Infection the leakage of the cerebral fluid called CSF. The CSF surrounds the brain. When leaking occurs, the best way to stop it is to take complete bed rest. When the leakage don’t stop, the patient should undergo brain surgery.

sphenoid-sinuses-tumor The good thing about sphenoid sinus is its location. Because it is far away from the surface, it is not easy for unwanted sickness-causing organisms to penetrate to its surface, unlike the maxillary sinus that serves as the first part of the passage.

Being aware of the symptoms of the sphenoid sinus infections can be extremely useful. When the maxillary sinus starts to show signs of fungal infection, try to observe if an evasive fungus caused it. This fungus can spread and contaminate even the healthy tissues.

If the infection remains for longer, it has a tendency to spread to other parts of sinuses. This can be terribly dangerous if it reaches the sphenoid. If it has affected all the sinuses, it would not be easy to treat it and let it heal all at once.

Prevention is always better than cure. A person has to eat healthy foods. He has to abstain from eating too much fried and starchy foods. There are foods that can cause and can worsen sinus infections like dairy products. If we just take the needed amount and get rid of the excess, it will be easy for us to avoid illnesses such as this.


  1. Hello Please tell me what I can do to get rid of sphenoid sinus as far as medication nutrition ect please I would really appreciate the feed back thank you

    • You don’t get rid of sphenoid sinus it is an opening space in the bone. If its infected then you go to ENT department at your local hospital and they clean the area . If its infected then it depends on the infection but if its fungal it would help to do deep breathing techniques to put oxygen deep into that back area to slow the infection down.

    • I saw three ENT’s and did the same old things over and over… steroids that work synergistically with antibiotics! My MD gave me something to dissolve the biofilms, and told me majority of sinus infection are fungal so when you take antibiotics, and if it is not an antifungal it acts as food for the fungus, so you just get more of what your trying to eliminate.

      Finally had sinus surgery with top notch sinus surgeon then I had scar tissue. Worn out I went to naturopathic doctor since I want to get to the causes I stop all fried food, wheat, sugar, meat, all processed food, and dairy. I’m a vegetarian so it is was easy .

      I went on Joel Wallach Mighty 90 and a great mineral concentrate, probiotics, and get on a simple SCD diet Started taking Allimax 3x daily. Took Serrapeptase to dissolve the scar tissue and did castor oil packs daily 2 to 3 times a day on my face to dissolve scar tissue. I started rinsing my sinuses with hydrogen peroxide food grade, sea salt and baking soda in sterilized water in a neti pot I would hang my head upside down on my inversion board to get this stuff in my sinuses I would wait 20 minutes since this is amount of time it takes to decimate bad bugs, I would do deep breathing and just relax during this time then slowly get off the inversion board and let the contents of my sinuses go into a cotton towel or paper towel . Wash towels on sanitize in washer And using Grapefruit seed in humidifier with sea salt while I was sleeping or in my office. Bought a no EMF sauna felt so much better. Also had my house air quality checked to make sure there was no hidden invisible odorless mold or leaking carbon monoxide leaks, or radon. Heck you never know! Also had my teeth checked just to be sure. Finally cured!

      • Can i ask which doctor you used? I Just got diagnosed with the same thing. Its affecting my vision to. Any thoughts?

      • Thank you for priceless info! I would only ask about the ammount of the ingredients used for the nasal solution – specifically for that quantity to be hold 20 min with head upside down.
        Thank you!

      • I apologize I’m just giving my experience I would suggest to anyone that has
        a sinus infection is to see an ENT and see the best neurosurgeons at a medical university if you need surgery.

        The sinus rinse I used sterilized water in a Neti Pot add a neilmed packet which is basically sea salt/ baking soda , add few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the neti pot as well .
        Then I would rinse my sinuses using a the neti pot. I can feel the bubbling of the hydrogen peroxide it burn a little but not a lot This really cleaned my sinuses and I keep a cotton towel close by and I close my eyes to make sure that this stuff does not ever get in my eyes.
        I also would gently put my hands on my sides of my face and pull the skin back a little then I would take deep breathes this get oxygen into my sinuses and decreases infection I would do this right before bed when I was lying down for about twenty to thirty minutes.

  2. Thank you for helping me to understand my diagnosis. Mild mucoperiosteal thickening in the nostril of the left sphenoid sinus
    Still need to understand the mild much periosteum and mild specification in left l
    Posterior ethnocide air cell nasal system. I was put on prenoidsone for 14 days. Can you give me more detail on diagnosis?

  3. Team,
    Very useful info regarding sphenoid sinus.
    Please suggest the best doctor for treatment I’m living in Chennai.

    Thanks and Regards
    Kiran NY

  4. good day hi am lizette ardeza from manila i just want to ask my husband having mild spnoeid sinusitis can doble sign can cause sinusitis? hes already 33 yeas old now hes always having snezeeng every morning please answer my question.

  5. I have fungal infection in my sphenoid sinus , i am 36 y.o female . How can get rid of it without surgery , using medications only ?

    • I had a non-invasive sphenoid fungal infection; it is not common. In 2014, it was removed surgically. I am currently trying to get further imaging to see if it has returned as I have begun experiencing the headaches on the top and rear of my head along with the thick, bad tasting mucus in the back of my throat as well as ‘snapping’ deep in my sinuses.

      The only way to remove the infection is via surgery, to my knowledge. There are no blood vessels to supply anti-fungals or other medications reliably as a sinus is completely enclosed. Blood vessels pass by surfaces, but there is no direct contact with the fungus.

      The surgery is quite risky. The scope/cleaning equipment needs to pass directly under your ocular nerve (can cause blindness with the wrong movement from either you or your doctor.) The scope will enter your sphenoid which sits directly (literally 1-2 mm) under your brain. The only thing separating the sinus from the brain is your dura, a sac that encloses your brain. Mine appears to have been nicked during surgery and, fortunately, my employer worked with me to allow me to stay at home for 1.5 weeks and lie on my back. Thankfully it healed. If it does not close on its own, the clear, salty solution that bathes your brain will deplete and require emergency surgery. Furthermore, breaching the dura can result in meningitis or even inoculation of the brain with the fungus itself, which is very bad.

      Because so few of these surgeries occur, there is little data to support statistics for success or failure. I recommend that you seek out the best surgeon. This will be evidenced by the number of SPHENOID surgeries completed each year and based on resulting patient complications.

      My doctor was fantastic. But, if I have reinfection, I do not think I will have the surgery again. The headaches I experienced were beyond explanation. Take a read online- George Clooney describes the headaches that resulted from his dura leak a few years ago. I was prepared to take the same action as him in the event that I was left with neuropathy (neurons that continue to think they are experiencing the pain, even though the cause is re-mediated.)

      I may request that we try something radical- deep breathing therapy of low-dose anti-fungals. I’m not certain that anti-fungals can be inhaled for safety or patient pain reasons….but I would prefer to explore non-surgical treatment on behalf of the other patients who may require similar treatment. However, working in the pharmaceutical industry and having a sister who is a pharmacist puts me at an advantage for trying something new.

      • I think sinus surgeries has risks and side effects. For people it works great, even a small biopsy on my back had scar tissue I could feel it my massuese
        gave something to use on it . Completely dissolved after two months

        For fungal sinus infection see the ENT
        There must be a natural cure for sinus fungus infections

        This is just a thought, what if you no longer feed the fungus and it has no food source. Won’t it die? What if you make the terrain inhospitable, starve it to death that is what they do to candida which is a fungus ? See a naturopathic doctor

  6. Hi there,
    I was in a car accident in 8-13 & banged the front left of my head in the crash(hit from behind) I had an MRI done & they made note that there was “mirrored right side stephoid sinusitis”
    Since then, I have had migraine headaches every couple months, vomiting & down for 2 days at a time. The last time was after antibiotics for stress hives that are on my scalp & breaking open. I finished the antibiotics & around a week later, woke up with pain over my eyebrows, worsening until I vomited over & over. The pain was immense. I had memory loss after the wreck & thought it was a brain injury. Could the accident have triggered or damaged something to cause this or worsen it?
    Thank you for your time.

    • I recommend that you find the best neurosurgeon in your area, explain the scenario and ask for help because the issues you describe are interfering with your daily life. Hopefully, you connect with someone who is willing to take the time to truly consider your history to get you back on the right path. He or she should be very capable of telling you if your accident could have resulted in damage.

      To prepare, you will need to contact the hospital where your CT was completed and have them forward the actual scan (not the read- you want all of the images/pictures) to your new surgeon.

      No one can diagnose your symptoms online, unfortunately. I feel for you and hope that you are able to find the help you need.

    • My friend was in car accident , she saw all eight neurologist . It was the
      Functional neurologist that helped her .. I had never heard of one until she mentioned
      it. Might want to check it out

  7. What can i do to help me cure sphenoid sinus? Like what is good for me To lower risk while i go to a specialist

  8. In 2004 I had surgery, lifting up my brain, taking muscle from my jaw and the special medical glue they use to fix a leak (undiagnosed for 8 months) from my sphenoid sinus. The leak of CSF from my nose started after an airplane ride to visit family out West, but it wasn’t figured out for a while. Could the differential pressure from the airplane have caused it to leak: the doctor said it was a large sinus, which is good for athletes, but that there was a part of it where skin was only under it instead of bone and many people have that, but it ruptured there. Does that make sense?

  9. I am just getting over mild pheumonia and have been suffering from a strange pain in my jaw and teeth for ages now – thought to be TMJS. I also have mild Rheumatoid Arthritis and small fiber neuropathy. However the thing that concerns me is that I recently had a bout of severe headaches and nausea following a lumbar puncture and now I have this mouth pain. I also get nose bleeds and sores/ crusting and I was looking into whether all this might be coming from my Sphenoid. My GPs say it’s just a viral infection and have me on two antibiotics simultaneously – so my lungs appear to be clearing well now but the jaw and teeth pain is excruciating presently. Nothing showed up in my CSF but the results were contaminated by a traumatic tap. I had a clear brain scan – would this be same as CT?

    I do feel something really unpleasant is happening around my nasal and oral areas but can’t seem to get anyone to take this seriously and I don’t have any gum infection or specific toothache. The doctors just keep checking my lungs and airways. Could this all be a Sphenoid matter and would any kind of Vasculitis/ autoimmune disease cause Sphenoid infection?

    • Tum Tum – I am female, 73. After eight months of non-stop excruciating jaw and teeth pain that no amount of antibiotics would get rid of , my GP finally suggested that perhaps I had allergies. Allergist said “nope” – referred me to an ENT specialist. He ordered a CT scan for the same day. Came back showing a blocked Sphenoid Sinus and also a shadow around my olfactory nerves. MRI ordered for the next morning. That showed a “male fist sized” Glomus Tumor on base of skull. I was scheduled for surgery within the week. The ENT surgeon and neurosurgeon worked as a team and I shall be forever grateful to them. Fortunately the tumor was not malignant and I have a follow-up MRI in three months. Surgery was seven plus hours and knocked me flat in more ways than one.
      So now four plus weeks post surgery and three weeks out of hospital I am lethargic, miserable, completely lacking in motivation and energy and once again consumed by the same kind of “sinus” pain that sent me to the hospital in the first place. My olfactory nerves were so entwined with the tumor that there was no saving them so now no sense of smell whatsoever and my, how impacts taste.

      I’m fortunate this all was discovered and day dream of getting back my previous very active and community involved life style but meanwhile no other way to put it politely – this sucks! I see the ENT doctor again tomorrow.
      Don’t let sinus pain go on without treatment.

    • Tum Tum — Your virus is probably Zoster and very hard to get rid of. Zoster reactivation infections were very common in 2014. These secondary infections can rise from flue and other trauma to the immune system. If you have numbness and tingling located on one side only, it could be Zoster. The pneumonia you experienced may have also been Zoster related. It sometimes attacks the trigeminal nerve exclusively and won’t show up on a common blood test. It is treated with Valtrex just like if you had shingles. If left untreated it can spread into your eye or down your nervous system into your brain causing Zoster Encephalitis. You may need to got to a doctor that specializes in this type of infection.

  10. the va diagnosed me with bilateral sphenoid sinusitis: Question: having served in the military early 70’s was subjected to fuel and fumes, stored, handled, used and disposed of hazardous materials and waste according to environmental standards could this have contributed to this problem.

    • Please see an specialist…an Environmental medicine doctor will be able to run the right tests, and help you figure this out. Most regular MD are not educated on this so it is wise to see specialized doctor

      • Hello cured, Glad to see your sinus problems seem to be better. I was wondering , did your sinus condition/infection involve the sphenoid. I am going on 3 months with this sphenoid issue and would love to try and treat it using the inversion method you mention. The usual 2 courses of antibiotics did little to rectify my issues. Other than the flip turn method which claims to possibly clean the sphenoid I haven’t found any other sights (I have done variations of the flip turn with a modicum of success however I find it hard to hold the upside down position for much longer than a couple of mins. It would seem your idea of 20 or 30 mins would be more ideal. Also how long did it take for you to clear your sinuses and do you still do the rinses for maintenance. Seems as if this doesn’t work I will unfortunately be reliant on the typical routes which seem iffy at best, Thanks Drew

  11. Last night, after a ct Scan with contrast scan, the radiologist’s report read, “fluid in left sphenoid sinus. Correlate clinically for infection”. The Emergency Room physician ordered Augmentin 875 mg, orag twice a day for 10 days. It would seem she considers this a bacterial infection. Today I seem to have a metalic taste in my mouth. (I do take Metformin daiy),I am to follow up with my primary MD &/or return to ER if condition worsens or I fail to improve?
    My only symptom that drove me to ER was the sharp pain in the back of my head approx 2 fingers above left ear and 1 or 2 fingers to the center of the head.. The pain would only last a second at a time, and I never knew when to expect it next.

    Do you believe the antibiotics will help; if the pain stops, how will I know if the fluid/infection has healed? How would you suggest I proceed? Thank you for your consideration.

  12. Does sinusitus show up as a No aeration of sphenoid sinus seen and soft tissue lesion in place where spenoid sinus should be in MRI as that is what is shown. Waiting for results of CT scan now.

  13. I have been diagnosed with mild to moderate bilateral ethmoid and sphenoid sinusitis. I have done everything and now I am having surgery on Tuesday right before Christmas. I tried to avoid it but there was no way.

  14. Hello
    I just had a ct scan and results show mild left sphenoid sinus disease. With A 6mm retention cyst at base of left sphenoid. I’ve been having horrible headaches doc treats them as migraines. My left ear and jaw been giving me deep pain that comes and goes. My left eye gets blurry when I feel sinus pressure. I’m always tired and sluggish. I’m 32 male that smokes cigarettes (not for long after this pain) and do construction always around dust and who knows what other air born bacteria. My question is, I’ve read that mucous retention cyst aren’t really problem causers and most docs say wait and see, but I’ve been having so many other issues wondering if this cyst could cause any of them or its just the sphenoid sinus disease itself. Thanks for your time

  15. 1) 3/21/2016 Had ct scan, non acute non- contrast followed by IV contrast CT examination of the brain

    2) There is an incusion cyst filling 50% of the volume of the left sphenoid sinus and there is mild right sphenoid sinusitis. all other paranasal sinuses appear adequately aerated and non acute.

    3) There is no calvarial fracture.
    currently attempting to locate ENT Specialist in Tallahassee Fl. Please explain how serious.

  16. Fifteen years ago I suffered for a year. For part of that time I just tried to deal with it, seeing GP off and on. I ran a constant low grade temp that NEVER left. Felt pressure in my head and behind eyes. Several rounds of antibiotics with GP finally saying it was “all in my head”. Generally felt “strange” and off center. Finally saw ENT (50 miles away) who couldn’t find anything wrong but on second thought sent me for CT scan of my sinuses. Right sphenoid sinus infection. Several more rounds of antibiotics with warning if I felt neck pain to see him immediately. Got sicker, nauseated, couldn’t read or watch tv and was seeing double. Saw an internal med dr who did another sinus scan. Infection still there and was totally sealed in the sinus cavity. Husband rushed me to ENT who wanted to wait until after the holidays for surgery. This was a week before Christmas. Hubby said no way and three days later had surgery. Doctor was amazed after surgery saying “she was REALLY sick”. Got over that but the trigeminal nerve was slightly scraped resulting in facial pain in my jaw which felt like my teeth were chattering. After a sack full of different pain meds, a neurologist put me on Neurotin and after a year of that I was totally free of pain. Doctors cannot feel our pain so if we don’t insist on pursuing the cause they won’t. Change doctors if you have to; don’t worry about hurting their feelings (this message was given me by my doctor cousin).

  17. Hi, I am suffering from sphenoid sinus . I consulted with a Dr and taken CT Scan . after seeing the result he told that this can be cured with surgery only. all the medicine are only for temporary relief. . Then went to another dr. to get his opinion for this problem. what he says is try with antibiotics for 4 weeks . Now I am confused. please help me.

    • From my experience…if it’s crusted/sealed up, (as mine was), and if there’s nothing that will losen the blockage then surgery might be the only option. Mine was there for over a year and after about 5-6 rounds of antibiotics it was still there.. There’s also the risk of meningitis. Good luck!

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