According To Uptodate Over 98 Percent Of Rhinosinusitis Is Viral:
The most common cause of acute sinusitis is a viral infection associated with the common cold Bacterial sinusitis occurs much less commonly, in only 0.5 to 2 percent of cases, usually as a complication of viral sinusitis.
Because antibiotics are effective only against bacterial, and not viral, infections, most people with acute sinusitis do not need antibiotics and would be putting themselves at risk for medication side effects and for developing antibiotic resistance by taking them for nonbacterial sinusitis .
If a sinus infection lasts more than 7 to 10 days and is accompanied by fever, it may be bacterial. But, even if you have a bacterial infection, what if you dont want to take antibiotics?
Maybe youre concerned taking antibiotics will destroy your bodys good bacteria. Or youve read the recent study about antibiotics make viral infections potentially lethal?
Can Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis Be Prevented
Currently, there are no vaccines designed specifically against infectious sinusitis or sinus infections. However, there are vaccines against viruses and bacteria that may cause some infectious sinusitis. Vaccination against pathogens known to cause infectious sinusitis may indirectly reduce or prevent the chance of getting the disease however, no specific studies support this assumption. Fungal vaccines against sinusitis are not available, currently.
If you are prone to recurrent bouts of a “yearly sinus infection” it may be important to consider allergy testing to see if this is the underlying cause of the recurring problem. Treatment of the allergy may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections. In addition, sinus infections may be due to other problems such as nasal polyps, tumors, or diseases that obstruct normal mucus flow. Treatment of these underlying causes may prevent recurrent sinus infections.
But Sometimes Antibiotics For Sinus Infections Are Needed
So how does one judge when it is appropriate to prescribe antibiotics for a sinus infection? There are several sets of official guidelines, which are all similar. When a patient has thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pressure or pain for at least 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment. If a patient has had those symptoms, but the symptoms seemed to start improving and then got worse again, then even if its been less than 10 days, they meet criteria for antibiotic treatment.
The authors, however, also suggest that doctors discuss watchful waiting with patients and explain that most sinus infections clear up on their own in one to two weeks, and its a safe option to hold off on antibiotics. The symptoms can then be treated with a cocktail of over-the-counter medications and supportive care, like nasal saline irrigation, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants, and pain medications.
Of course, many patients expect and demand antibiotics for sinus infections, and even those who are open to watchful waiting may hear about the rare but possible complications of things like, oh, brain abscess, and opt to treat.
In the case of my patient above, she met criteria for treatment. She weighed the watchful waiting option against the potential risks of antibiotics for her sinus infection, and chose the prescription. I can tell you from very close follow-up that she improved quickly, though in truth, we will never really know if she would have gotten better anyway.
Recommended Reading: Best Medicine For Sinus Pressure And Congestion
Sinus Infection How To Treat It Without Antibiotics
A sinus infection can be described as the inflammation and congestion of the sinuses. This problem is very common nowadays, and it can be triggered by a large variety of factors, especially by allergens. The main symptoms include headaches, facial pressure, congestion, thick mucus, fatigue, and dizziness.
Antibiotics are usually prescribed in the case of sinus infection, but they can actually worsen the symptoms, especially if your problem is caused by fungal biofilms which are the cause of sinusitis in almost 80% of the cases. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, this way creating a perfect environment for Candida yeast, which will lead to other complications.
You should know that a sinus infection can be efficiently treated without antibiotics. Lets see how.
Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Some sinus infection and COVID-19 symptoms may overlap. Both illnesses can cause a fever, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue or a sore throat. Symptoms unique to COVID-19 include body aches, nausea, shortness of breath and vomiting. Learn the difference between the cold, flu and COVID-19 based on your symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Sinus Infection Vs Flu Vs Cold
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
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.
Irrigate Your Sinuses To Help Ease Symptoms And Prevent Sinus Infections
Nasal irrigation is basically a method of using a saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucus residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash, nasal douche, or lavage. Some people refer to it by one of the popular devices used to get the water in, a neti pot.
A small number of studies has found irrigation can improve symptoms, including one review published in September 2016 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Experts caution that it is important to use distilled or sterile water to avoid the rare possibility of introducing a parasite into your sinus passageways.
Common Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Antibiotics may be prescribed when symptoms of a sinus infection warrant such treatment. Common antibiotics for sinus infection include:
- Levaquin : Although this drug is often prescribed as a first line of therapy for sinusitis, it has serious side effects and should only be used as a last resort.
When To See A Doctor
Remember, acute sinusitis can last for several weeks. Give your body a chance to fight it off, using self-care techniques and getting plenty of rest.
If your symptoms start to improveeven if it seems to take a whilethen let it be. Be patient. Your body is slowly, but surely, doing what it needs to do to fight the infection.
However, if your sinusitis symptoms get worse despite proper self-care if theyre accompanied by high fever, a lot of facial swelling, and green or foul-smelling nasal discharge and if these progressively worsening symptoms persist for longer than 10 days, its time to see your doctor.
In these cases, an antibiotic may be warranted because the infection has gotten out of control.
On a final note, be sure to take probiotic supplements while on antibiotics. While important and often lifesaving, antibiotics have a downsidethey also kill beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic.
Probiotics help ensure you continue to have friendly bugs in your system. Take your probiotics several hours apart from your antibiotics, as the antibiotics could negate their effects.Take good care.
Bacteria Causing Food Poisoning
Here are some common symptoms attached when you have bacterial infection related to food poisoning issue.
- Campylobacter jejune is a diarrheal illness that is often accompanied by fever or cramps
- Escherichia coli is another diarrheal illness whose symptoms are fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and nausea.
- Clostridium botulinumis considered as a potentially life-threatening bacterium, which produces powerful neurotoxins.
- Salmonella is often accompanied by fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
- Listeria monocytogenes can cause fever, muscle aches along with diarrhea. Especially, elder people, pregnant women, and infants who often have weak immune system are more likely to suffer from this issue.
- Last but not list, vibrio is attached with diarrhea. Sometimes, when bacteria exposed to an open wound, they can cause severe skin infection, which will be a big problem if you do not have a proper treatment in time.
Click at Home Remedies For Food Poisoning to get natural remedies for food poisoning.
How To Cure A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
You know the misery of a sinus infection pressure building up behind your eyes, stuffy nose, that horrible post nasal drip. Not to mention the achy, sick-all-over feeling that just refuses to go away. Before you drive to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for antibiotics, learn how to cure a sinus infection the natural way.
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
Allergic inflammation caused by the common cold or allergies can cause blockages in the nasal passages. The nasal lining thickens, obstructing the process that naturally removes toxins and bacteria from the nose. The result? A painful, irritating sinus infection.
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #1 Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is a very powerful natural antiviral. Its very strong so its important to only use a few drops at a time. You can pick up a small bottle of oregano oil at most health food stores or online. Place a couple of drops into a 4 ounce glass of water and, using a straw, drink it down. The straw will keep your lips from burning.
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #2 Astragalus
Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to strengthen the immune system and protect the body against the effects of physical and emotional stress. It also contains antioxidants, which protect the body from damaging free radicals.
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #3 Goldenseal
Natural Remedy for Sinus Infection #4 Neti Pot
Other Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection without Antibiotics
Getting Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
How can I get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics? Here are a few non-antibiotic treatment options you might consider:
If you find that these at-home sinus infections dont work, then it might be time to talk to a doctor for medical treatment.
Natural Remedies For Sinus Infections
1. Top Foods & Beverages for Sinus Infections
2. Foods & Beverages to Avoid
3. Oil of Oregano
4. Grapefruit seed extract
5. Vitamin C
8. Neti Pot
9. Add Moisture
10. Essential Oils
When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
Can You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
For most healthy people, even a moderate sinus infection can be cleared up if the nasal passages are allowed to drain. There are many different over-the-counter medications and home remedies that can provide relief from nasal congestion, and in some cases sinus infections can be handled by your bodys immune system.
Over-the-counter medications to treat sinus issues fall into a few different categories depending on your symptoms. Decongestants and antihistamines are designed to help alleviate the swelling that is preventing normal sinus drainage. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help with reducing swelling and inflammation. Many cold and allergy relief drugs are a combination of two or three of these components.
In recent years, decongestant nasal sprays have become more popular, but increasing research is showing there can be dangers to this form of treatment. You should always be careful when using nasal sprays, and always follow treatment directions carefully. In most cases, you should not use a nasal spray for more than three days, as there is a risk of your nasal congestion getting worse over time with long-term use of sprays.
In addition to treating the sinus blockage itself, many people find it useful to take OTC pain relievers to alleviate the facial pain caused by swollen nasal passages. While pain medication such as ibuprofen will not reduce the amount of congestion, it can help you feel better while your sinus cavities heal.
Sinus Infections Most Clear Up Without Antibiotics
ROCHESTER, Minn. Sinus congestion and the common cold go hand in hand. Usually, congestion goes away within a week or so as the body fights off the illness. But sinus congestion and a feeling of sickness can linger and worsen, which may indicate a bacterial infection.
The October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers sinus problems, including symptoms of a bacterial infection and when antibiotic treatment may help clear out the stuffiness.
Sinus inflammation often begins with a cold, caused by a virus. When the sinuses become irritated and inflamed, sinus tissues swell. Expansion of these tissues can close off the ostia, the small openings that allow mucus to drain out of the sinus cavities. That blockage creates a feeling of stuffiness. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and typically aren’t recommended within the first week of developing a cold.
The stagnant, moist environment of a blocked sinus cavity gives bacteria a place to grow and thrive. If bacterial infection develops, antibiotics may have a role in treatment. It’s tricky to determine whether sinusitis is caused by a virus or bacteria. The symptoms congestion, facial pain, drainage of mucus, cough, headache and feeling unwell can occur with both types of infections.
The likelihood of bacterial infection increases when:
How To Tell If These Remedies Are Not Working
You will know if these remedies are effective because you will begin to feel better and your sinuses will be less congested.
However, unlike with antibiotics where symptoms start to diminish quickly, natural remedies typically take longer to work. So you should continue to do these remedies regularly for at least a week or two before determining if they are working.
What Is A Chronic Sinus Infection
The sinuses are small cavities in the skull that are normally filled with air. They produce mucus, which helps keep the nasal passages clear of allergens and pollutants. If all goes well, mucus drips harmlessly down the back of your throat, and you dont even notice it.
When you have sinusitis, the tissues that line your sinus cavities become inflamed. In some cases this swelling blocks off the sinuses, trapping mucus and causing a variety of annoying symptoms.
This can cause pain and pressure, as your sinuses arent able to drain normally. If symptoms linger, chronic sinusitis can develop, lasting for several weeks and even lingering and causing misery for years.
Things Which May Worsen A Sinus Infection
Lets take a look at what you can remove or eliminate from your diet and environment to both encourage healing and discourage chronic sinusitis or recurrent infections in the future.
Monitoring your symptoms is key to making sure you see treatment when and if it is needed. If you think you may have a sinus infection, consult your doctor or visit an urgent care center.
Try Quercetin A Powerful Herb Youve Likely Never Heard Of
Quercetin is a natural plant component found in everything from onions and apples to green tea and red wine. Like many plant ingredients, it is an antioxidant. For sinus problems, quercetin has also been found to stabilize the cells in the body that release histamine the chemical that stimulates mucus secretion in the sinuses.
The Alternative Medicine Review article recommends quercetin as helpful for sinusitis, suggesting a typical oral dose of 400 to 500 mg taken three times per day.
Other Considerations For Beating A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics:
Humming seems to help.
Grapefruit seed extract is a powerful anti-fungal that cleared up a breast infection for me when nothing else worked. Its also shown promise as an anti-viral. It tastes awful. I recommend using it in homemade cleaning products, and you can try drinking a few drops in water or freshly made juice two or three times a day at the first sign of a cold or flu. GSE may help you beat your sinus infection without antibiotics.
Sip on soup: Old-fashioned chicken soup, like your grandma used to make, is full of health-giving nutrients, deeply comforting, and tremendously healing. Load the soup with fresh organic garlic, onions, carrots, and greens , free-range chicken, and fresh spices . Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sip steaming hot throughout the day or as your body desires. You can also buy pre-made bone broth, which naturally minded doctors often recommend.