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

See also: Sinusitis


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


Symptoms usually include a headache between the eyes and a runny nose.

Symptoms of more serious infections can include:

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



Benninger MS, Stokken JK. Acute rhinosinusitis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:chap 46.

Borish L. Allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 251.

Review Date 8/5/2015

Updated by: Sumani Jothi MD, Specialist in Laryngology, Clinical Instructor at UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.