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
Are there home remedies for a sinus infection?
Sinus infections caused by viruses can use home (over-the-counter) treatments such as pain and fever medications (acetaminophen [Tylenol]), decongestants, and mucolytics. In addition, some health care providers suggest that nasal irrigation or a sinus rinse solution will help relieve symptoms of sinus infections, even chronic sinusitis symptoms. This irrigation is accomplished with a "Neti-Pot" or a sinus rinse kit (sometimes termed a nasal bidet). The last reference of this article shows a video of a sinus rinse procedure. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning about the use of Neti-Pots; the FDA cautions people not to use untreated tap water for rinsing, as contaminated tap water rinses lead to two deaths.
Bacterial and fungal sinus infections usually require antibiotic or antifungal therapy so home treatments without them are often not successful. However, some authors suggest home treatments may reduce symptoms after medical therapy has begun; some health care practitioners recommend nasal irrigation after sinus surgery.
What are complications of sinus infection?
While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency (for example, meningitis or brain abscess). In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye (orbital cellulitis). Rarely, these infections (mainly bacterial and fungal organisms) may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.
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