Is It Possible To Prevent Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
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.
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Treatment For Sinus Infection
Whether you have an acute sinus infection or a chronic infection, a number of treatment options can relieve your discomfort. If youre in the early stage of an acute sinus infection, it may be appropriate to start at-home treatments while you monitor your symptoms. If your sinusitis worsens, youll need to call your doctor for medication and further care. Even if youre receiving treatment from your doctor, at-home care can help ease your symptoms.
Which Medications Open The Sinuses Will Antibiotics Cure Sinus Infections
Medications that Cure Sinus Infections
The goal in treating sinus infections is to eliminate bacteria from the sinus cavities with antibiotics. This helps prevent complications, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk of chronic sinusitis.
- In acute, uncomplicated sinus infections, a synthetic penicillin, for example, amoxicillin , which is prescribed to most people to cure acute sinus infections. Amoxicilin is effective against the ususal causes of sinus infections, and is inexpensive. The most common side effects of amoxicillin include allergic reactions and an upset stomach.
- People allergic to penicillin can take a sulfur-containing antibiotic called trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or TMP/SMX . Sulfa drugs are not recommended for people who are allergic to sulfur.
- People who have several episodes, or partially treated acute sinusitis or those who have chronic sinusitis may become resistant to amoxicillin and TMP/SMX. Synthetic penicillins and cephalosporins such as amoxicillin/clavulanate , cefuroxime , and loracarbef can cure most sinus infections.
- Eventually, overuse of these broad-spectrum antibiotics may lead to organisms evolving that can resist even the most potent antibiotics available. Simpler antibiotics, for example, amoxicillin, should be used first and taken for the entire duration .
Medications to Keep the Sinuses Open
OTC Steroid Nasal Sprays
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How Are Steroid Injections Taken
Steroids injections will most likely be administered by a specialist doctor. Depending on the purpose of the injection, there are several different ways steroids can be injected
- Directly into a joint
- Into the soft tissue located close to the joint
- Into the spine
- Into a bursae
Steroid injections could also be administered through the veins . However, this is rare and is mostly used for autoimmune flares.
The area around the injection may remain sore for a few days. Youll be required to keep the injection site dry and clean for at least 24 hours after the steroid injection.
To help reduce the discomfort of the injection, doctors may administer an anesthetic to numb the pain. The anesthetic will last for a few hours and will do well in numbing any residual pain you might have felt from the steroid injection.
You should wait for 15 to 20 minutes after taking your steroid injection. This is important in case you develop any harmful side effects, as you will be surrounded by health care professionals.
For some conditions, such as arthritis, steroid injections are often best suited for short term treatment, as opposed to long term. This is because of the many side effects long term steroid injections can cause.
The Pros And Cons Of Steroids For Sinus Infection
A recent study found that nasal steroid sprays do help sinus infections just a bit. Researchers in England found that use of these steroids for three weeks could help patients feel better faster, although the effects were small. Heres Reuters:
Thompsons group found that two thirds of people felt better within two to three weeks, without having taken a steroid spray. Among the people who did take a steroid, an additional one out of 10 felt better by three weeks. In other words, ten people would have to be treated with steroids for three weeks for one of them to feel some relief from their symptoms. And who knows if youre the one? said Dr. John Hickner, a professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.
Why is this a result worth reporting? Because of how these statistics line up with another common treatment: antibiotics. Researchers found that steroids and antibiotics produced similar results, giving doctors an important, viable option to avoid overprescribing common antibiotics.
Thompson said that if doctors want something to offer and patients want something to take, nasal steroids could steer them away from antibiotics.
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Infrared Light Therapy As An Alternative Treatment For Sinusitis Or Sinus Infection
Infrared energy penetrates into the body up to several inches and heats it from the inside. The heat and the lamps of various frequencies are used for improving oxygenation, circulation and hydration. This disables all the micro organisms that cause this disease. The frequency of light that is emitted from these infrared lamps has proven to be quite beneficial for treating sinusitis or sinus infection.
Nasal Saline Spray/saline Irrigation
In the treatment of adult ABRS, there has been a recommendation of topical nasal saline irrigation with either isotonic or hypertonic form as a combined treatment. Saline sprays have an effect on reducing rhinitis symptoms. Also, it revealed a better sinus-related quality of life, decreased symptoms, and drug use with routine hypertonic nasal saline irrigation. No serious side effect has been determined with saline irrigation. When compared to isotonic saline, hypertonic saline treatment may have a better anti-inflammatory result and ability to subtilize mucous and rapidly recover mucociliary clearance .
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.
How Do You Diagnose Chronic Sinusitis
The presence of two or more of the listed symptoms for at least three months raises the suspicion of a chronic sinus infection.
In such cases, we will evaluate you to confirm the diagnosis. This involves applying pressure on your sinuses to elicit tenderness. If the tenderness is positive, your sinuses are likely to be inflamed. We will then take a peek into your nose using a small flexible scope, and check for nasal polyps, pus-filled discharge, and deviated septum.
We may also recommend nasal endoscopy. This is an office procedure that enables us to view the interior of your nose and sinus passages. Its done with an instrument called an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light. We will pass this scope into your nose and sinuses to look inside. Nasal endoscopy allows us to detect any swelling and polyps, as well as collect discharge from the infected area. This can help spot the cause of your infection and whats the best way to treat it.
If need be, we may also perform imaging in the form of a computed tomography to look for further problems.
Allergy skin tests look for allergic causes and to check for problems within your immune system may also be done.
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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 improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- 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
How Is Sinusitis Treated
After diagnosing sinusitis and identifying a possible cause, your doctor can suggest treatments that will reduce your inflammation and relieve your symptoms.
In cases of acute sinusitis your doctor may recommend:
- Topical or oral decongestants to reduce congestion
- Antibiotics to control a bacterial infection, if present
- An oral corticosteroid, to decrease congestion and inflammation, and help the antibiotic work better.
In our office, it is common practice to give all patients a sinusitis flow sheet, which they follow strictly. Patients should avoid using over the counter decongestant nose drops for longer than 5 to 7 days, as they can lead to even more congestion and swelling. Patient commonly refer to this phenomenon as addiction to nose sprays.
Many cases of acute sinusitis will spontaneously resolve without antibiotics. If you have allergic disease along with infectious sinusitis, however, you may need medicine to relieve your allergy symptoms also. If you are a patient who suffers from asthma, keep in mind that an acute sinus infection usually worsens asthma symptoms, and can
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Gastrointestinal Disturbances And Peptic Ulceration
In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study by Kirtsreesakul et al. 112 patients with CRSwNP used either 50 mg prednisone or placebo for 14 days and reported significantly more gastrointestinal disturbances and dyspepsia in the prednisolone treated group. In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial by Venekamp et al. 174 adult patients clinically diagnosed with ARS received either 30 mg/day prednisolone or placebo for 7 days. The incidence of gastrointestinal complaints did not differ between treatment groups.
In a large nested casecontrol analysis based on the UK General Practice Research Database, 2105 cases of upper gastro-intestinal complications were compared to 11,500 controls and then evaluated for exposure to certain drugs e.g. corticosteroid use. The adjusted OR for current use of oral GCS was 1.8 for upper gastrointestinal complications overall . No statistically significant difference could be objectified for lower versus higher dosage of GCS. To our knowledge no studies in upper airway disease patients report on systemic steroid treatment and peptic ulceration.
What Decongestants And Nasal Sprays Soothe Or Cure Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis
Taking decongestants and mucolytics orally may be helpful in assisting drainage of sinus infection.
The treatment of chronic forms of sinus infection requires longer courses of medications, such as Augmentin, and may require a sinus drainage procedure. This drainage typically requires a surgical operation to open the blocked sinus under general anesthesia. In general, antihistamines should be avoided unless it is felt that the sinusitis sinus infection is due to allergies, such as pollens, dander, or other environmental causes.
It is likely that the use of a topical nasal steroid spray will help reduce swelling in the allergic individual without the drying that is caused by using antihistamines although both are occasionally used. Oral steroids may be prescribed to reduce acute inflammation and to help with chronic inflammation in cases with or without polyps and in allergic fungal sinusitis.
In many people, allergic sinusitis develops first, and later, bacterial infection occurs. For these individuals, early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent the development of secondary bacterial sinusitis.
In rare instances or in natural disasters, fungal infections may develop in debilitated people. Death rates of 50%-85% have been reported for patients with these sinus infections. Treatment relies on early diagnosis followed by immediate surgical debridement, antifungal drugs, , and stabilizing any underlying health problem such as diabetes.
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Things To Know About A Sinus Infection
- Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
- Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
- The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection can include medications, home remedies, alternative therapies, and surgery.
- Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
- Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
- Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
- cloudy discolored nasal or postnasal drainage,
- the feeling of nasal stuffiness,
Can You Take Steroids And Antibiotics At The Same Time
The answer to this question depends on the specific steroid, antibiotic, and the infectionbut yes, in some cases, your physician may prescribe both drugs at the same time. The antibiotic targets bacteria and the steroid controls inflammation and resulting pain. For example, the steroid dexamethasone has proven effective in adults with bacterial meningitis, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. The two are also often prescribed together for certain infections.
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How Do Flonase Nasacort And Afrin Work
Flonase and Nasacort are glucocorticoids that reduce allergy symptoms like:
Itchy and runny nose
Its worth noting that Flonase is FDA-approved to help with watery and itchy eyes, while Nasacort is not.
Steroid nasal sprays are especially effective because they block allergic responses from six different types of cells in your nasal area. Allergy pills like or , on the other hand, only block allergic responses in one type of cell. Steroids can be used long-term to prevent allergy symptoms.
Afrin is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal area and helps fluid drain from your nasal passages to improve breathing. Unlike Flonase and Nasacort, Afrin is for temporary relief of symptoms. It can start to work in 15 minutes or less, but its not for long-term use because of potential side effects. More on this below.
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Intranasal Corticosteroids: Nonstandard Delivery
Nonstandard topical corticosteroid delivery system, especially after sinus surgery, is an option in CRSwNP. General benefits are not available to statistically approve therapeutic recovery on existing evidence. Although evidence of adrenal suppression has not been seen, this cannot be ruled out by nonstandard delivery and dosing regimens. They have off-label use and possible minor side effects in comparison with oral corticosteroids .
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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.
How Long Do Antibiotics Take To Work On Sinus Infections
Often, sinus infections are treated with antibiotics. However, your doctor will determine the best treatment based on the root cause of your sinus infection. If antibiotics are prescribed, you may want to know how long it will be before you start to experience relief from symptoms.
Read on to find out how sinus infections are diagnosed, when your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, and how long it will take antibiotics to take effect.
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Should I Use A Nasal Spray For A Sinus Infection
Nasal sprays are often used to soothe symptoms caused by a sinus infection or acute sinusitis. Symptoms of a sinus infection can include inflammation in the nose, congestion, postnasal drip, runny nose with green or yellow mucus, cough, sinus pain and more. There are four main types of nasal sprays: corticosteroids, nasal decongestants, sodium chloride, and cromolyn sodium.
Corticosteroid and sodium chloride nasal sprays are used to help soothe allergy symptoms such as a stuffy nose. Nasal decongestants relieve nasal congestion in the upper respiratory tract. Cromolyn sodium is an anti-inflammatory medication helpful in treating sinus infections caused by allergies. One of our allergists can determine which spray will best treat your symptoms.
How Quickly Does Prednisone Work For Sinusitis
This is very often the first question that pops into your mind when sinus infection is troubling you.
In the era of Dr. Google, with self-diagnosis running wild its easy, as a doctor, to hear this question before even starting an exam.
Prednisone, in addition to antibiotics, can lead to resolution or improvement in symptoms at three to seven days.
Nonetheless the real question is: Do you really need steroids ?
Lets start from the beginning.
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