How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
Experts dont know a lot about how to prevent sinusitis. But the following tips may help:
- Avoid contact with allergens or irritants that trigger your nasal allergies.
- Keep your nose as free and clear as possible by taking your allergy medicines including topical nasal steroid sprays and using a nasal saline rinse.
- Avoid infections by washing your hands often during common cold season. Also avoid touching your face.
- Talk with your doctor about lifestyle changes that may help you prevent repeated sinus infections. These may include changes to your diet, maintaining good hydration, performing regular exercise, and reducing stress.
Medical Review: April 2021 by Sarah Goff, MD, PhD, and August 2022 by John James, MD
The Weird Causes Of Sinus Infections
Did you know that sinus inflammation is a common complication of allergies or any viral, fungal, or bacterial infections?
Even a pinched nerve in your back can cause systemic inflammation .
Technically, nasal congestion produces swelling in the sinus cavity, obstructing drainage and causing mucus to stagnate. A perfect breeding ground for infection.
To your health and happiness,
What Is Sinus Infection
Medically known as rhinosinusitis, Sinus infection or Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. It occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often persists even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria, or rarely fungus, may cause a sinus infection.
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What Treatment Options Are Available For A Sinus Infection
Often the infection gets better without the need for treatment, but if it doesnt then antibiotics may be prescribed. Home remedies include:
- Using a decongestant nasal spray
- Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water to ease congestion
- Placing a warm compress over the sinus to relieve pressure.
- Irrigating the nasal passages with a saline solution
- Staying rested and hydrated
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Those With Underlying Medical Conditions May Be At Greater Risk Of Developing A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are fairly common, affecting more than 30 million Americans each year. However, people with certain underlying medical conditions may experience more frequent and severe cases of sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
- Sinus infections can occur as a result of viral infections, such as the cold or flu. Therefore, people with weakened or compromised immune systems may be at a greater risk for developing acute sinusitis.
- Sinus infections commonly arise due to complications with seasonal allergies, asthma, or other physical issues that can cause blockages in the nose or sinuses. People with these conditions are more likely to develop chronic sinusitis.
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When Do I Really Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
When do I really need antibiotics for a sinus infection? is a question many patients have when suffering from bothersome sinus and allergy problems. While sinus infections can be quite painful, antibiotics often do not help in treating the condition.
Sinus infections affect approximately 37 million people in the U.S. each year and can be caused by:
- Nasal polyps or deviated septum causing nasal obstruction
The majority of sinus infections are viral in nature, and antibiotics do not cure viral infections. Taking antibiotics for viral infections also will not:
- Keep you from being contagious to others
- Relieve symptoms or make you feel better
In order to distinguish a bacterial sinus infection from an infection caused by a virus or other contributing factor, your doctor will observe your symptoms and possibly conduct other tests, such as a CT scan or cultures.
Antibiotics are only effective on bacterial infections, and even in cases involving bacteria, the body can often cure itself of mild or moderate infections within a few days.
Which Types Of Doctors Treat Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
- Many sinus infections can be treated by your primary care physician or an Internal Medicine doctor.
- However, it is not unusual to consult an ENT specialist,
- Infectious disease specialist,
- Allergist or Immunologist.
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When Do We Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but your doctor can decide if you need an antibiotic. You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:
Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics arent needed, they wont help you, and their side effects could still cause harm. Side effects can range from minor issues, like a rash, to very serious health problems, such as antibiotic-resistant infections and C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death.
When Antibiotics Are Appropriate Treatment
Antibiotics may be given to people who are less able to fight off infection, such as those with diabetes, or serious heart or lung disease.
In addition, antibiotics can be given to those whose symptoms have gotten worse or those who show no improvement after seven days.
If antibiotics are given, a 10- to 14-day course is recommended, according to the practice guidelines. Amoxicillin or amoxicillin clavulanate are typically the first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin.
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When Antibiotics Are Needed
Historically, sinus infections, also called sinusitis, were often treated with antibiotics. But today, many allergists warn against the random use of antibiotics for a sinus infection.
Antibiotics can help eliminate bacterial sinus infections. But when a sinus infection is caused by allergies, a virus, or other causes such as a structural defect of the sinuses, an antibiotic will not help to alleviate symptoms.
The overuse of antibiotics is when they are prescribed for reasons other than when they are needed. Because of the common overprescribing of antibiotics for the type of sinus infections that do not warrant such treatment, many people have developed whats commonly referred to as antibiotic resistance.
Sinusitis Is Not A Regular Cold But Colds Can Cause Sinusitis
Your sinuses, which are hollow spaces in the bones around your nose, are lined with mucus that traps bacteria, dust and allergens and drains out through your nose.
When your sinuses become inflamed due to a cold, mucus cant drain, so it builds up and can lead to sinusitis, which can be viral or bacterial.
Sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, which leads to swelling that can cause obstruction and an accumulation of mucus, says Dr. Hur, an assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Sinusitis can be caused by allergies, nasal polyps, infections or a weakened immune system from medications or illness, he says.
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If You Think You Have A Sinus Infection
If you feel you are experiencing sinus infection symptoms, make an appointment with your PartnerMD physician, and do not attempt to treat symptoms on your own. While you may initially be recommended OTC treatments, only your doctor can accurately diagnose your symptoms, and prescribe the right treatment for relief.
Have a question about your sinus infection symptoms? Contact us today to see if a relationship with a concierge doctor could be beneficial.
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Why Might Your Doctor Recommend Antibiotics For Sinusitis
You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:
- You have symptoms of a bacterial infection and you have not gotten better after 10 days, even with home treatment.
- Your symptoms are severe, or you have other problems, such as pus forming in your sinus cavities.
- You have had sinusitis for 12 weeks or longer .
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Best Antibiotic For Sinus Infection
Amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin group of antibiotics and is considered as one of the best antibiotics for sinus infection. Read the following article which provides information on some other effective antibiotics that help lower the symptoms of sinusitis. The information will help you select the best oneâ¦
Amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin group of antibiotics and is considered as one of the best antibiotics for sinus infection. Read the following article which provides information on some other effective antibiotics that help lower the symptoms of sinusitis. The information will help you select the best one
A hollow air filled cavity in the skull is known as sinus. Human beings have four pairs of sinus cavities which are located in the forehead, behind cheeks, between the eyes and deep behind the ethmoids. Sinuses get infected when a pathogenic organism such as virus, bacteria or a fungus thrives within a sinus and causes intermittent blockage of the sinus. Inflammation of the lining of the paranasal sinuses and nasal passages, headache, nasal blockage, fever and facial pain are some of the important symptoms of sinus infection. Doctors generally prescribe antibiotics for sinusitis.
Antibiotics for Sinus Infections
Amoxicillin: Amoxicillin kills bacteria by destroying the cell walls of the bacteria. If you are allergic to amoxicillin, physicians might prescribe Penicillin or Macrolides.
How Long Does A Sinus Infection Last
Sinus infections can last several days. Viral sinus infections are usually most severe three to six days after they start, and then begin to improve by day 10. A viral sinus infection can develop into a bacterial infection, which typically lasts longer than 10 days. Patients will usually respond to antibiotics within two to three days after a bacterial sinus infection is diagnosed and treated. After that, sinus infections can resolve anywhere between seven and 14 days.
There are three types of sinusitis. All three are based on length of symptoms:
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Check If You Have Sinusitis
Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
Treating Sinus Infections: Dont Rush To Antibiotics
Millions of people are prescribed antibiotics each year for sinus infections, a frequent complication of the common cold, hay fever, and other respiratory allergies. In fact, 15 to 21 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions for adults in outpatient care are for treating sinus infections. Unfortunately, most of those people dont need the drugs. Heres why:
The drugs usually dont help.
Sinus infections can be painful. People with the condition usually have a stuffy nose combined with yellow, green, or gray nasal discharge plus pain or pressure around the eyes, cheeks, forehead, or teeth that worsens when they bend over. But sinus infections almost always stem from a viral infection, not a bacterial oneand antibiotics dont work against viruses. Even when bacteria are the cause, the infections often clear up on their own in a week or so. And antibiotics dont help ease allergies, either.
They can pose risks.
About one in four people who take antibiotics have side effects, such as stomach problems, dizziness, or rashes. Those problems clear up soon after stopping the drugs, but in rare cases antibiotics can cause severe allergic reactions. Overuse of antibiotics also promotes the growth of bacteria that cant be controlled easily with drugs. That makes you more vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant infections and undermines the good that antibiotics can do for others.
So when are antibiotics necessary?
How should you treat sinus infections?
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When Antibiotics Dont Work
Some patients suffer from recurring sinus infections. If your sinus infection does not improve within five to seven days after you finish the whole course of antibiotics, or if you experience another sinus infection within a few weeks, you may be referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for treatment.
When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue. Do I maybe need antibiotics? she asked.
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Your Sinus Infection Natural Treatment
Obviously, you shouldnt use ALL of these remedies TOGETHER. Just choose a few of them, the most available to you, and youre set.
A few combinations you can try are:
What Are The Different Types Of Sinus Infections
Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, and theyll usually go away on their own. In fact, if the infection doesnt clear up after a week to 10 days, it can be an indication that its caused by bacteria. It may have started as a bacterial infection, or a viral infection may develop into a bacterial infection after your sinuses become filled with fluid and bacteria then forms.
If you have sinus infections that seem to clear up only to shortly return, you probably have a bacterial infection. Thick, dark, or greenish-yellow nasal discharge is another indication, but your doctor can perform tests to verify the type of infection if needed.
Sinus infections can also be classified as acute or chronic. Acute infections usually start suddenly with symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain and can last up to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis occurs when your infection persists for at least 12 weeks despite attempts to treat it.
In the short term, a sinus infection can cause a long list of symptoms, including the following:
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Best Antibiotic Treatment For Sinus Infection
Physicians frequently recommend ten to 14 days of amoxicillin or amoxicillin-clavulanate treatment when a person has bacterial sinusitis.
However, amoxicillin is less effective in some areas because of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In these cases, a physician could recommend using another antibiotic when there is no improvement in sinusitis symptoms after a couple of days.
Some alternatives to treat sinusitis include:
How Do Antibiotics Work
Our bodys defence system usually copes with harmful bacteria bydestroying them, and therefore protects us from getting infections. However,sometimes the infection is too great and antibiotics are needed.
Antibiotics work by either killing the bacteria or by preventing the bacteria fromgrowing and reproducing . After stopping growth and reproduction, the bodys immune systemthen destroys and removes the bacteria.
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How Is Sinusitis Treated
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your sinusitis. Most of the time, treatment includes medicines and taking care of yourself at home. Medicines that are used most often include:
- , such as Sudafed, that are taken as pills or liquids. These can reduce swelling and improve sinus drainage.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine, such acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
- Antibiotics, which kill bacteria. Antibiotics will only work if your sinusitis is caused by bacteria. Most of the time, sinusitis is caused by a virus.
Natural Remedies For Sinus Infections
1. Top Foods & Beverages for Sinus Infections
2. Foods & Beverages to Avoid
3. Oil of Oregano
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