Sinus Infection Medications: Medicines That Help Treat Sinusitis
Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Masters of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
Treating Sinus Infections Without Antibiotics
There are also complications that can develop with dependency on these drugs. The more antibiotics are used the less effective they can become, with possible side effects like dizziness, stomach problems and rashes.
Instead of turning to antibiotics, Alan Conway, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health SystemFranciscan Healthcare in Tomah, suggests some alternative methods of treatment. Dr. Conway says, First of all, you should give yourself enough rest. Your body needs the time to fight the infection with full force, especially in the first few days when symptoms are the most severe.
Dr. Conway also says. Watch out for over-the-counter products that contain oxymetazoline. These products may relieve symptoms for a few days, but they can cause congestion if used longer than three days. Instead, use generic pseudoephedrine pills if you are stuffed up for more than three days.
Sinus infections can turn into a bacterial infection, due to the prolonged blockage in the sinus cavity. It is not easy to determine whether the infection is viral or bacterial, considering that the symptoms are the same for both. Even if the infection becomes bacterial, 70% of the time the infection will go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
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What Are The Common Home Remedies To Treat Sinus Infection
The nine common home remedies to treat sinus infection include:
- At-home vaporizer or humidifier: It may help relieve sinus symptoms. Sometimes a hot shower may also relieve sinus symptoms.
- Use of lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus oil while breathing steam may relieve nasal pressure.
- A warm compress over the nose and forehead helps relieve sinus pressure.
- Use of a syringe or a neti pot to stream a solution of non-iodized salt, baking soda, and lukewarm distilled water through the nostrils to help keep nasal passages clean. Also, a patient may choose a product from a pharmacy that is already prepared and ready to mix from packets.
- Drink warm water to stay hydrated.
- Drinking warm ginger tea with turmeric may help relieve nasal congestion.
- Drinking warm water with apple cider vinegar may help in fighting a sinus infection. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, and magnesium which aids in treating sinus infection. It works by loosening up the mucous and clearing nasal passages.
- Eat a balanced diet that also includes spices, and a diet rich in vitamin C and minerals help build immunity to fight infection.
- Sleep with the head elevated at night or keeping a humidifier running at home to avoid an arid environment may help relieve sinus pressure.
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Azo Urinary Tract Defense
This is a relatively new OTC drug that has appeared in 2016 in pharmacies all over the USA and also could be ordered on.
Once you swallow it, Methenamine will work by slowing down the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract.
When exposed to acidic urine, Methenamine turns into formaldehyde to kill the bacteria, but its not strong enough to eliminate an infection completely. It cant cure an active infection but may slow down its progress.
AZO Urinary Tract Defense has been created to prevent UTIs, as well as to provide quick relief at the first signs of infection.
On top of this, Sodium salicylate, an analgesic, also acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Taking an NSAID could help to reduce inflammation while fighting a bladder infection. This analgesic, though, will not change the color of your urine and is not linked to cancer.
Quick Tip: In order for AZO Urinary Tract Defense to work to its full potential, youd need acidic urine. For that, take Ascorbic Acid with the drug.
An alternative to AZO Urinary Tract Defense in Canada, Europe, or Australia is Hiprex, which works similarly.
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What Would Doctors Prescribe For Sinus Infection
Although they are rare, more serious cases of sinus infection warrant a doctor visit. If you find yourself talking to a doctor about chronic sinus infection, your doctor will likely recommend antibiotics. Severe sinus infections are usually of the bacterial variety, which means antibiotics will help kill off the foreign bacteria. Note that antibiotics will not help with viral sinus infections, which are also usually far less severe.
Steroids can typically reduce inflammation, so if your infection is due to a virus causing severe inflammation, you may require sinus infection medication that involves steroids.
You can get prescriptions for sinus infection medication from licensed physicians on our sister site PlushCare. All you have to do is make an appointment online, speak to a doctor about your symptoms, and they will help you develop a treatment plan, which may include prescribing sinus infection medication.
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What Causes Sinus Pressure
Pressure in your sinuses is essentially swelling in response to any of three different causes: a pressure change between the air inside your sinuses and the air outside your sinuses , when irritants invade your sinuses , or when you have an anatomical issue .
Unfortunately, you can’t cater your sinus pressure treatment to the exact cause, but the good news is that most available remedies can work to reduce sinus inflammation and swelling regardless of what’s causing it.
Here’s a guide, according to experts, on the best ways to treat sinus pressure so you can start feeling better as soon as possible.
Aromatic Salt Premium Ceramic Neti Pot
Richard Nass, MD, a Manhattan-based ear, nose, and throat doctor and clinical associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine, says he likes to use a neti pot, like this one, to irrigate the sinuses. This ceramic version allows you to rinse your nose with sterilized water and saltor a saline solutionfor relief from stuffiness.
If you opt for a neti pot, just make sure youre using distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water, says the FDAthat means no tap water allowed. And always clean it well between each use .
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What Are The Sinuses How Many Do We Have
A sinus is a hollow, air-filled cavity. For the purposes of this article, a sinus will refer to those hollow cavities that are in the skull and connected to the nasal airway by a narrow hole in the bone . Normally all sinuses are open to the nasal airway through an ostium. Humans have four pair of these cavities each referred to as the:
The four pairs of sinuses are often described as a unit and termed the âparanasal sinuses.â The cells of the inner lining of each sinus are mucus-secreting cells, epithelial cells, and some cells that are part of the immune system .
Functions of the sinuses include humidifying and warming inspired air, insulation of surrounding structures , increasing voice resonance, and as buffers against facial trauma. The sinuses decrease the weight of the skull. If the inflammation hinders the clearance of mucous or blocks the natural ostium, the inflammation may progress into a bacterial infection.
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What Causes A Sinus Headache
Inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses is the primary cause of a sinus headache. The inflamed tissues swell and produce secretions that clog the normal drainage system of the sinuses, causing a build-up of fluid and secretions. The pressure of this fluid build-up causes the pain of a sinus headache. Inflammation of the sinuses is known as sinusitis. The inflammation may arise due to an
Most commonly, infectious sinusitis is due to a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections of the sinuses can also occur. Since the maxillary sinuses are located in the cheekbone, infections of the upper teeth can spread into these sinuses. In very rare cases, benign or malignant tumors can invade and block drainage in the sinuses and lead to a sinus headache.
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Why Do We Suffer From Nasal And Sinus Discomfort
The bodys nasal and sinus membranes have similar responses to viruses, allergic insults and common bacterial infections. Membranes become swollen and congested. This congestion causes pain and pressure mucus production increases during inflammation, resulting in a drippy, runny nose. These secretions may thicken over time, may slow in their drainage, and may predispose to future bacterial infection of the sinuses.
Congestion of the nasal membranes may even block the eustachian tube leading to the ear, resulting in a feeling of blockage in the ear or fluid behind the eardrum. Additionally, nasal airway congestion causes the individual to breathe through the mouth.
Each year, more than 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, which typically includes nasal congestion, thick yellow-green nasal discharge, facial pain and pressure. Many do not understand the nature of their illness or what produces their symptoms. Consequently, before visiting a physician, they seek relief for their nasal and sinus discomfort by taking non-prescription or over-the-counter medications.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
When you notice the first signs of facial pressure and sinus pain, youre probably desperate for a way to stop the infection before it is debilitating. Instead of burying your head under a pillow and waiting for it to clear up, its important that you are proactive with your treatment plan. Even a small sinus infection can develop severe symptoms when left untreated.
Whether its your first sinus infection or you have chronic sinusitis, its essential to know your treatment options. Clearing up the infection should be a high priority so you can avoid potential complications of untreated infections.
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Do You Need To Take Your Dog To The Vet For A Stuffy Nose
In many cases, simple things like a runny nose or a stuffy nose are not troubling enough to warrant a trip to the vet. This is especially true if the congestion resolves on its own within a 24 hours or so and your dog appears healthy in most other ways .
However, if the congestion lasts for more than a couple of days,only seems to affect one nostril, or if it is accompanied by a fever or green nasal discharge, you should take your dog in for an examination.
Additionally, if you note any neurological problems holding the head in unusual positions, loss of balance, uncoordinated movements youll want to take your dog in promptly.
Dont have easy access to a vet? You may want to consider getting help from JustAnswer a service that provides instant virtual-chat access to a certified vet online.
You can discuss the issue with them, and even share video or photos if need be. The online vet can help you determine what your next steps should be.
While talking with your own vet who understands the ins and outs of your dogs history is probably ideal, JustAnswer is a good backup option.
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Natural Home Remedies For A Sinus Infection
If you are one of the more than 30 million Americans who find themselves suffering from sinus infections , then you understand the daily struggle. Depending on the day or the season, your symptoms may range from a minor inconvenience to a major battle. Youâve battled to breathe, battled to sleep, battled to focus at work, all the while dealing with headaches, coughing, ear pain, and so much more. The good news is that sinusitis treatment is available and it does not always require invasive and risky surgical procedures.
Too often people find themselves confused and frustrated as they desperately seek the elusive sinusitis cure. This search sometimes drives sinusitis sufferers to the extremes from a constant rotation of ineffective over-the-counter medications to invasive and irreversible surgery. Some sinus sufferers are so disillusioned by these options that they choose to do nothing and are resigned to living without any relief from these agonizing symptoms. The good news is that real and lasting sinus infection treatment options are available and it is possible to find relief without risky surgery or complicated pharmaceuticals.
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When Can I Expect To Feel Better
Most people recover from sinusitis caused by colds in about a week, but symptoms can take anywhere from 10 days up to 8 weeks to clear up. If symptoms persist for 3 months or more, it is called chronic sinusitis. This condition is a bit more complex where inflammation of the mucous membranes takes much longer to heal. Read more about chronic sinusitis.
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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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What Are The Most Common Antibiotics Used For Sinusitis
Amoxicillin remains the drug of choice for acute, uncomplicated bacterial sinusitis. Amoxicillin is most effective when given frequently enough to sustain adequate levels in the infected tissue. While often prescribed twice daily, it is even more effective if taken in 3 or 4 divided doses. Amoxicillin is typically prescribed for 7-10 days at a time. While it is critical to finish the entire 10 day course of antibiotics when treating strep throat, there is evidence that shorter courses of treatment may be sufficient for most cases of sinusitis. Amoxicillin is closely related to the parent compound penicillin and should not be prescribed in patients who are penicillin allergic.
Cephalosporins and Augmentin are considered broad-spectrum antibiotics because they have enhanced effectiveness against a wider range of bacteria, including those that are resistant to ordinary penicillin or amoxicillin. If the patient does not improve within the first week on amoxicillin, a change to Augmentin or to a cephalosporin such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Omnicef, or Suprax is reasonable. Although these drugs have a similar mechanism of action to penicillin, they generally can be taken in adequate doses once or twice daily. These medications should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of penicillin allergy, as cross-reaction may occur.
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Best Over The Counter Medicine For Sinus Infection
While you could have heard about the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection, have you ever wondered why millions keep falling to sinusitis every year?
According to Centre for Disease Control , 29 Million Americans fall to this menace each and every year!
Thats huge and thats why we felt that its the high time we tackled this Dragon head on.
In this post, I will be talking about what exactly is a sinus infection, how to know when you have it, how long it lasts, how to treat sinus infection, how to relieve sinus pressure among others issues.
Even before proceeding, I want to thank our own Dr. Stuart Lamond, for sacrificing himself and patiently answering all my questions about Sinusitis. I owe you one!
Lets start by knowing what a sinus infection is:
Simply put, it is an inflammation of your sinuses.
Sinusitis begins with cold symptoms before developing into pain plus pressure in your sinus cavities.
Symptoms include headaches, pain in your face, sore throat, Halitosis , plugged nose, coughing, thick nasal mucus, fatigue, facial swelling/tenderness, ear pain, eye pain, toothache, loss of smell, fever and hoarse voice.
Rhinosinusitis Can Be Acute Or Chronic
According to Dr. Lamond, you have acute rhinosinusitis if you suffer for less than four weeks and chronic sinusitis if your infection extends beyond 12 weeks.
But It Could Also Be Subacute Sinusitis
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Treatments For Sinus Infections Other Than Antibiotics
#1: Saline Nasal Wash
Saline nasal wash can be a great way to thin out the mucous in the sinuses enough to clear out the blockage. I recommend starting this early on in the course of the illness to prevent the infection from worsening.
You can even make this at home using 2 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I would add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to prevent burning that can occur with use. There are also plenty of over the counter saline nasal sprays that you can purchase. You can use this 4-6 times per day.
Vaporizers are great because they can also thin out the mucous and make you feel a lot better. An easy home remedy, steam is probably the best way to use this treatment. Beware if you are an asthmatic as the steam could cause worsening of the asthma symptoms.
#3: Steroid Nasal Spray
Steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase have been my go to remedy recently and the great news is that they are now over the counter. The general recommendation is to use 1-2 sprays per nostril daily.
But I have found great relief using 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily. At these higher doses it is important to remember that you should use this short term, no more than 5-7 days.
These medications can significantly reduce inflammation allowing the congestion blockage to clear and significantly alleviate symptoms.
Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.