Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Sinus infection facts
- What is a sinus?
- What is a sinus infection?
- What causes sinus infections?
- What are the types of sinusitis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of sinus infection?
- How is sinus infection diagnosed?
- How is sinus infection treated?
- Are there home remedies for a sinus infection?
- What are complications of sinus infection?
- Can sinus infection be prevented?
- Pictures of Sinusitis (Sinus Infection) - Slideshow
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- Pictures of 10 Common Allergy Triggers - Slideshow
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
What are the types of sinusitis?
Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on the time span of the problem (acute, subacute, or chronic) and the type of inflammation (either infectious or noninfectious).
- Acute sinus infection (also termed acute sinusitis caused by infection) is usually defined as being of less than 30 days duration.
- Subacute sinus infection as being over 1 month but less than 3 months.
- Chronic sinus infection as being greater than 3 months duration.
There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.
- Infected sinusitis usually is caused by uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
- Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general time line for acute, subacute and chronic as infectious sinusitis.
What are the signs and symptoms of sinus infection?
Commonly the symptoms of sinus infection are headache, facial tenderness, pressure or pain, and fever. However, as few as 25% of patients may have fever associated with acute sinus infection. Other common symptoms include:
- cloudy, discolored nasal drainage,
- a feeling of nasal stuffiness,
- sore throat, and
Some people notice an increased sensitivity or headache when they lean forward because of the additional pressure placed on the sinuses. Others may experience tooth or ear pain, fatigue, or bad breath. In noninfectious sinusitis, other associated allergy symptoms of itching eyes and sneezing may be common, but may include some of the symptoms listed above for infectious sinusitis. Nasal drainage is usually clear or whitish-colored in people with noninfectious sinusitis.
With rare fulminant fungal infections, there may be ulceration, with sharply defined edges and a black, necrotic center in the nasal area. Some fungal infections cause a dark, black-appearing exudates. This requires immediate medical evaluation.
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