Skip to content

Air conditioning in GCC region may be main cause of allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis

The fungal infection of the paranasal sinuses is one of the common clinical entities in the GCC encountered in day-to-day practice by a rhinologist.

This is one of the many topics highlighted at the 10th Annual Middle East Otolaryngology Conference and Exhibition, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions. The event will take place in Madinat Jumeirah Arena on 21-23 April 2013 and is expected to attract more than 700 regional healthcare professionals from the ENT field.

The main cause of Fungal Rhinosinusitis is not completely clear but the infection usually occurs in hot and humid environments. Most researchers question the possibility that air conditioning is one of the major reasons because they contain a concentrated number of fungi inside buildings and homes and also provide the optimum temperature and level of humidity for the growth of the fungi. 

According to Dr Omar El Banhawy, Professor  in ENT, El-Menoufiya University, Egypt, and visiting Professor at Ministry of Health in Riyadh Hospitals, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “The overall incidence of allergic fungal rhinosinusitis is estimated to be 5—10% of all the cases of sinus disease undergoing surgery. The percentage of occurrence is much higher in the Gulf Cooperation Council States.  It is found mainly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Currently we are running a treatment project, therapy, and follow ups for the treatment of allergic fungal rhinosinusitis in order to better define its frequency and the different fungal variations among patients in the local environment of Riyadh (KSA), Delta region (Egypt), and in Oman.”

Unfortunately there is no known direct way to prevent the occurrence of this disease but early medical detection and management can prevent its consequences. The disease develops slowly and is usually severe by the time the patient seeks medical attention.

“The disease develops primarily in young adults and adolescents, its reported recurrence rates range from 10 to 100%. Research states that over an average period of almost seven years of follow-up with medical practitioners, patients required an average of two surgical procedures and three courses of systemic steroids per year. Recurrent disease may silently progress until massive intranasal polyposis creates significant nasal obstruction,” says Dr. El Banhawi, who will also be speaking at the upcoming Middle East Otolaryngology Conference in April.

Medical therapy including sinonasal irrigation, antibiotics and nasal steroids are often combined with other novel therapies to improve or eliminate sinonasal symptoms. Surgery is indicated for patients with persistent sinusitis despite adequate medical therapy and severe nasal polyps caused by chronic inflammation.

Running alongside the conference is an exhibition with more than 70 exhibitors showcasing the latest technologies and product launches from manufacturers and distributors within the ENT field. Products such as hearing aids, laser machines, microsurgical instruments and sleep apnoea devices will be on display from companies such as Karl Storz, Medtronic, GlaxosmithKline, and MSD.

The event is supported by the UAE Ministry of Health and the Dubai Health Authority.

For more information on the Otolaryngology Exhibition & Conference, please call +971 4 407 2743 or visit

Note to Editors

About Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions:
For more information, please visit