Do I Need Antibiotics For Every Sinus Infection
Many sinus infections are caused by viruses, the ones that cause the common cold. These types of infections are not cured by antibiotics. Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection unnecessarily puts you at risk for side effects related to the antibiotic. In addition, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which may make future infections more difficult to treat.
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,
What Are Complications Of A 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.
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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.
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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 youre 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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Can You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without An Antibiotic
This may give you the idea that you need antibiotics, but most clear up without them. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and arent recommended within the first week of developing a cold. About 70 percent of sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
Does Covid act like sinus infection?
COVID-19 causes more of a dry cough, loss of taste and smell, and, typically, more respiratory symptoms, Melinda said. Sinusitis causes more discomfort in the face, congestion, nasal drip, and facial pressure.
Risk Of Unnecessary Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Taking unnecessary antibiotics for a sinus infection is not only ineffectual, but can actually be harmful to the patient. Risks of taking unneeded antibiotics include:
- Increased chance of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection at a later time
- Destruction of healthy stomach bacteria, which can allow harmful bacteria to grow
- Possible side effects, such as upset stomach, rash, or dizziness
- Allergic reaction
According to studies conducted by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology , 60-70% of patients with sinus infections fully recover without the use of antibiotics. Additional research shows that almost 90% of U.S. adults diagnosed with acute sinusitis are prescribed antibiotics.
This overuse of antibiotics for sinus infections, as well as other conditions, can lead to antibiotic resistance, a state in which bacteria change over time as a reaction to antibiotic treatment, in order to survive and multiply, thus making the antibiotics less effective.
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What You Can Do To Soothe A Cold Or Ear Infection:
- Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and head pressure.
- Try a cool-mist humidifier or shower steam to loosen congestion.
- Try over-the-counter saline drops to clear the nose.
- Consider sinus rinses or devices to remove mucus from young childrens noses.
- For children older than age 1, honey in warm water can soothe a cough.
- For older children, an extra pillow under their head can help them sleep better.
What If You Want To Treat The Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
Ive been extraordinarily lucky.
I havent personally been plagued with sinus infections. But my husband James, and my co-author Dr. Paul Thomas, and lots of people I know frequently get them.
I asked these good folks for recommendations for the best ways to treat sinus infection without antibiotics.
Lets talk about those treatment options for sinus infections without antibiotics. Then, lets talk about how to drill down to the root causes of sinus infections. After we figure that out, those sinus infections can stop ruining your life.
Here we go.
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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.
Treating Sinus Infection With High Blood Pressure
Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is usually mild and easy to treat. It rarely leads to serious complications! But if it has caused its complications, some could be serious.
The treatment usually starts with simple remedies, like nasal solution to help relieve the congestion more quickly. If the problem doesnt improve, it may progress to more advanced strategies .
If you have high blood pressure, your sinusitis treatment should not cause a spike in your blood pressure! And if you are taking your blood pressure medicine, make sure there is no risk for drug interaction !
Sinusitis is classified into several types by how long it lasts. It can be acute, sub-acute, chronic, and recurrent .
The good news, most cases of sinus infection are acute. Acute means the problem lasts less than 4 weeks. It is relatively easier to treat, and even it often gets better in time . Lifestyle measures such as keeping hydrated and adequate rest are usually enough to cope with. See also home remedies for sinusitis in this section!
However sometimes lifestyle measures alone are not enough. If you do need to take medication to help get rid of your sinusitis, there are some choices available. And to keep safe, the following are some easy checklists to remember for treating sinusitis with high blood pressure:
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Best Methods To Effectively Treat A Sinus Infection
What is Sinus infection?
Thick mucus and inflammation are the two main symptoms of sinus infection. As it gets heavy by the day, you may feel the pressure on your face and experience headaches, especially when you lean forward. It happens when fluids build up in the air-filled pockets in your face and later becomes the breeding ground for the germs to grow and cause infection. A sinus infection, also medically known as rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen, infected, and inflamed, causing a continuous nasal drip. There are two types of sinus infection Chronic and Acute.
Acute sinus infections usually last less than four weeks. It is typically due to existing colds and other respiratory illnesses. Sinus infection can be misleading as it overlaps the symptoms of another existing disease. If you recover from flu or any respiratory health problems, usually sinus infection stays. Hence, a chronic sinus infection lasts more than the acute stage and is recurring.
5 Best Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection
As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure.. However, If its too late, and the symptoms start to appear, here are some remedies you can try to treat your sinus infection.
1. Use over-the-counter medication
2. Drink plenty of water
3. Apply warm compress on the face
4. Steam inhalation therapy
5. Essential oils
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?
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Feel Better Sooner Without Antibiotics
Instead of taking antibiotics for sinusitis, Consumer Reports chief medical adviser, Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., recommends that you get plenty of rest, rinse your nose with a saltwater sinus rinse or spray, drink warm fluids, and inhale steam from a hot bath, shower, or kettle. For pain, he says, try an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
If needed, your doctor can prescribe a prescription corticosteroid spray, such as fluticasone or triamcinolone.A systematic review published in JAMAin 2015 found that after saline irrigation, the second-best treatment for chronic sinusitis was a topical corticosteroid spray for a few days.
Research Into Antibiotics And Sinus Infections
The guidelines were triggered, in part, by studies finding that antibiotics may not make a difference. About 60% to 70% of people with sinus infections recover without antibiotics, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
In one study of symptom relief, patients given antibiotics generally did no better than patients not given antibiotics.
This study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, observed 240 patients with sinusitis. They were given one of four treatments: antibiotics alone, nasal steroid spray alone to reduce tissue swelling, both antibiotics and the spray, or no treatment.
Patients who got no treatment were as likely to get better than those who got the antibiotics. The nasal spray seemed to help people with less severe symptoms at the beginning of their sinus problem, and seemed to make those with more intense congestion worse.
The patients all had sinus symptoms that suggested a bacterial infection. Sinus problems are also caused by viruses, for which antibiotics definitely offer no help.
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What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
How To Get Rid Of Sinus Infection In 24 Hours
You can inhale steam to keep them hydrated. You can also take a hot water shower. It also lets you breathe in the steam.
What are the long term effects of a sinus infection?
Breathing problems Damage to the olfactory nerve and permanent loss of smell Meningitis Spread of infection to the skin or bones or eyes Asthma Snoring and sleep apnea Chronic cough or lung problems Chronic sore throat
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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.
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.
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Is A Sinus Infection Contagious
How Will I Know if I Have a Sinus Infection?
The majority of doctors think that most people do not transmit sinus infections except in rare instances, and conclude that sinus infections are not contagious.
Sinus infections usually begin with the symptoms of a cold , and then develop into pain and pressure in the sinus cavities. About 7 to 10 days after initial cold-like symptoms other symptoms develop that suggest you may have a sinus infection. Sinus infection symptoms include
- a yellowish-greenish nasal discharge that may have an odor,
- bad breath,
- pressure in the sinuses, and
When Should I Go See The Doctor About A Sinus Infection
It is pretty easy to care for most sinus conditions on your own. However, if you continue to have symptoms that concern you or if your infections continue to happen, your primary care doctor might suggest you see a specialist. This could also happen if your CT scan shows something that does not look right.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Sinusitis, or swelling of the tissues of the sinus cavities, is a common condition with many causes, including viruses and bacteria, nasal polyps or allergies. Signs and symptoms may including facial pressure, fever and tiredness. You can treat symptoms at home by resting, taking over-the-counter products and increasing your fluid intake. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve, if sinusitis happens often or if you have any symptom that worries you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
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