What Are The Six Types Of Sinusitis And Sinus Infections
Sinusitis may be classified in several ways, based on its duration and the type of inflammation . The term rhinosinusitis is used to imply that both the nose and sinuses are involved and is becoming the preferred term over sinusitis.
- Acute sinus infection usually lasts less than 3-5 days.
- Subacute sinus infection lasts one to three months.
- Chronic sinus infection is greater than three months. Chronic sinusitis may be further sub-classified into chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps, or allergic fungal sinusitis.
- Recurrent sinusitis has several sinusitis attacks every year.
There is no medical consensus on the above time periods.
- Infected sinusitis usually is caused by an uncomplicated virus infection. Less frequently, bacterial growth causes sinus infection and fungal sinus infection is very infrequent. Subacute and chronic forms of a sinus infection usually are the result of incomplete treatment of an acute sinus infection.
- Noninfectious sinusitis is caused by irritants and allergic conditions and follows the same general timeline for acute, subacute, and chronic as infectious sinusitis.
Amoxicillin For Sinus Infection Is It Good
Sinus infection or sinusitis is a condition when the mucous membranes are irritated and inflamed due to bacterial, viral or fungal infection. The sinuses are air-filled connected cavities in the skull that produce a thin layer of mucus and drain into the nose.
The function of these connected systems of hollow cavities is not very clear, but experts believe that they are meant for humidifying the air and enhancing our voices.
A sinus infection may also occur when the draining mucus is blocked due to a deviated septum, nasal polyps, allergic rhinitis or common cold. Most often, sinus infection is mistaken for a common cold. Sometimes, it may be really difficult to differentiate between a sinus infection and the common cold.
Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the five most common variants of bacteria that trigger sinusitis.
Streptococcal bacteria in sinuses. 3D illustration.
Amoxicillin is the first choice when it comes to treating a sinus infection as it is one of those drugs that is quite effective against combating all the aforementioned strains. It also comes with fewer side effects, when compared to other antibiotic drugs.
Why Are Antibiotics Important
Antibiotics are one of the most common classifications of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Since their introduction to the world of medicine, they have helped treat countless people, especially those with infectious diseases.
Antibiotics are very crucial during surgeries and are used to prevent patients from getting any infections from the cut. Without antibiotics, there is a higher chance of blood poisoning and the more complicated surgeries would not be possible to perform.
Amoxicillin For Sinus Infection
Amoxicillin belongs to penicillin antibiotics and is used in range of infections. It can be administered either orally or intravenously. Amoxicillin is also available in a form of a nasal spray. This is a highly effective antibiotic against many bacteria. One of the infections that is treated with amoxicillin is sinus infection.
Amoxicillin and Sinus Infection
Sinus infection is a common infection and it affects people of all ages. It can occur once or tends to reoccur when it turns into a chronic form. Sinus infection caused by bacteria does not respond to home remedies and requires proper antibiotic treatment. One of antibiotics prescribed in patients suffering from sinus infection is amoxicillin. The drug is very effective and can successfully eradicate harmful bacteria. It also does not have many side effects. Amoxicillin is forbidden in patients who are allergic to the medication or any other penicillin drug.
Only in case the patient does not respond to treatment with amoxicillin this points to the resistance of the bacteria to the drug and it needs to be replaced with some other antibiotic.
Amoxicillin Dosage for Sinus Infection
The single dose for adults in case of sinus infection is 500 mg. The drug is taken 3-4 times a day . The entire length of the treatment depends on the patient’s general health, age, comorbidities and the severity of the sinusitis.
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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What Are Complications Of Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
While serious complications do not occur frequently, it is possible for a sinus infection to cause a direct extension of infection into the brain through a sinus wall, creating a life-threatening emergency .
In addition, other adjacent structures can become infected and develop problems, such as osteomyelitis of bones in the skull and infection around the eye . Rarely, these infections may cause death. The most susceptible individuals to complications are patients with suppressed immune systems, diabetes, and relatively rarely from multiple trauma injuries that may occur in natural disasters.
Better For Public Health
Study results may have implications for the countryâs overall public health.
âThere is now a considerable body of evidence from clinical trials conducted in the primary care setting that antibiotics provide little if any benefit for patients with ,â the researchers write. âYet, antibiotic treatment for upper respiratory tract infections is often both expected by patients and prescribed by physicians.â
Prescribing antibiotics to treat conditions that donât require them contributes to a public health threat of increasing antibiotic resistance.
âI think the data are something like 90% of people that go to a doctorâs office and receive this diagnosis will be given an antibiotic prescription,â Garbutt says, âso I think that we should try and significantly reduce that percentage.â
âWe measured lots of different outcomes and we didnât find any benefit in any of them. So days missed from work, days not able to do usual activities, side effects of treatment, satisfaction with treatment — we didnât see any difference in a whole plethora of things,â she says.
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Most Sinus Infections Dont Require Antibiotics
Ah, . The New England Journal of Medicine published a clinical practice review of acute sinus infections in adults, that is, sinus infections of up to four weeks. The need for an updated review was likely spurred by the disconcerting fact that while the vast majority of acute sinus infections will improve or even clear on their own without antibiotics within one to two weeks, most end up being treated with antibiotics.
It is this discrepancy that has clinical researchers and public health folks jumping up and down in alarm, because more unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics mean more side effects and higher bacterial resistance rates. But on the other hand, while 85% of sinus infections improve or clear on their own, theres the 15% that do not. Potential complications are rare, but serious, and include brain infections, even abscesses.
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.
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Should You Treat A Sinus Infection With Antibiotics
Over the past few months Ive seen patient after patient drag themselves to the clinic with coughing, sneezing, headaches and green or yellow nasal discharge, sometimes accompanied by ear and tooth pain. Some people with infection may experience fevers, chills or night sweats signs that the body is fighting a virus or bacteria. These are symptoms I expect as a primary care doctor especially during the spring seasons. They are the telltale signs of sinusitis. But if that sums up symptoms you have, do you need antibiotics? The question may be more complicated than you think.
Each year, more than 30 million Americans endure sinusitis an inflammation of sinus spaces surrounding the nose that makes it difficult to drain fluid that normally flows through the sinuses. Much like a detective weighing clues, us health providers use symptom severity and duration to determine the cause of a patients sickness.
The World Health Organization has called antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health, saying misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
At a health professionals discretion, antibiotics can be prescribed if a person appears very sick or has any underlying chronic disease that may make them prone to becoming sicker.
Amoxicillin Dosage For Sinus Infection
According to the official literature, the dosage of amoxicillin for adults can range from 250 mg. to 1 gm three times a day, depending on the severity of the infection. For children, 20 mg. per kg. body weight can be given in three divided doses.
In the case of mild to moderate infections, your doctor may prescribe 250 mg. three times a day or 500 mg. two times a day. For severe sinus infections, 500 mg three times a day or 875 mg two times a day can be recommended by the doctors.
For children, 20 mg. / kg. body weight three times a day or 25 mg. / kg. body weight two times a day is normally recommended by the doctors. In severe infections, the doctors may prescribe 40 mg. / kg. body weight three times a day or 45 mg. / kg. body weight two times a day.
Amoxicillin dosage depends on the age, body mass, and health condition of the patients. Your doctor may change the dose and duration of the treatment by monitoring certain health parameters during the treatment.
So, always take amoxicillin under the recommendation and supervision of a credible practitioner. You should never take amoxicillin or any other medicine on your own because it may affect your health condition, particularly if you have any liver or kidney issues.
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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.
When Does Antibiotic Resistance Occur
Antibiotic resistance occurs in a persons own body and within the community when certain drugs no longer work for a specific type of germ. This can occur when bacteria change in response to exposure to antibiotics so that the antibiotics no longer work efficiently against the bacteria.
Therefore, allergists and other specialists recommend limiting the use of antibiotics unless:
- Symptoms last over seven to 10 days
- Specific symptoms are present
- A fever is present
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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.
When Are Antibiotics Prescribed For A Sinus Infection
Your doctor will consider antibiotic treatment if you do not see relief from these initial treatments. If you develop a fever, or tenderness and pain in your teeth, you may be experiencing symptoms of a bacterial sinus infection.
Not all antibiotics are effective for treatment of bacterial sinus infections, so your doctor will look at your medical history and current symptoms to determine the best antibiotic treatment.
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When Should You Use Antibiotics
You usually need an antibiotic when you have an infection that is caused by bacteria, and the infection is not going away on its own. This may be the case when:
- Your symptoms last more than 10 days.
- Your symptoms start to get better, but then get worse again.
- Your symptoms are very severe. You should get immediate treatment if:
- You have severe pain and tenderness in the area around your nose and eyes.
- You have signs of a skin infectionsuch as a hot, red rash that spreads quickly.
- You have a fever over 102°F.
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.
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Key Points About Sinusitis In Children
Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses.
When discharge from the nose is blocked, bacteria may start to grow. This leads to a sinus infection or sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis may get better on its own. But if it doesnt, medicine can be prescribed.
For chronic sinusitis, the healthcare provider may refer your child to an ear, nose, and throat doctor for testing and treatment.
To help prevent sinusitis, have your child use saline sprays or washes to keep the noise moist. Use a humidifier in dry inside areas.
Treatment For Sinusitis From A Gp
If you have sinusitis, a GP may be able to recommend other medicines to help with your symptoms, such as:
- steroid nasal sprays or drops â to reduce the swelling in your sinuses
- antihistamines â if an allergy is causing your symptoms
- antibiotics â if a bacterial infection is causing your symptoms and you’re very unwell or at risk of complications
You might need to take steroid nasal sprays or drops for a few months. They sometimes cause irritation, sore throats or nosebleeds.
A GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist if, for example, you:
- still have sinusitis after 3 months of treatment
- keep getting sinusitis
- only have symptoms on 1 side of your face
They may also recommend surgery in some cases.
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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.
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.
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