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When Should You Take Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection

How An Ent Treats A Sinus Infection

Sinus Infections Shouldn’t be Treated with Antibiotic

If you have a lingering sinus infection after antibiotics, an ENT doctor often elects to be more aggressive in treatment than a primary care physician. They may prescribe longer courses of antibiotics, stronger medications, or recommend a procedure to open the sinuses.

If you have persistent sinus problems, the sinuses must first be unblocked. Sometimes, thats done through a simple balloon sinuplasty and irrigation. Other times, unblocking the sinuses requires a more aggressive procedure like endoscopic sinus surgery. We opt for this procedure when the sinuses become so blocked, tissue and bone need to be removed to create a wider opening.

If youre dealing with a lingering sinus infection, dont let it progress to a more serious issue. Call your ENT so they can discover whats at the root of your problem and find a treatment to bring you relief.

When To Visit An Ent

You may opt to visit an ENT if your sinus infection symptoms last more than one month. However, when a lingering sinus infection after antibiotics lasts more than 12 weeks, its definitely time to see a specialist.

If your doctor has treated you with antibiotics, saline, steroid sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants and youre still not better, youve entered into a confusing area. You need a thorough exam of your sinus pathways with a fiberoptic scope and a CT scan to properly diagnose the problem.

If at any point youre not sure whats going on and your primary care doctor isnt sure whats causing the symptoms, see an ENT for a more specialized exam.

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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:

  • Zithromax
  • 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.

Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections

Should You Take Antibiotics for a Sinus Infection?
#1: Duration

The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.

I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.

When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.

#2: Mucous Color

I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.

Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.

So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.

#3: Sinus Pain

Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.

However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.

#4: Fever

A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?

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Treating Sinus Infections: Dont Rush To Antibiotics

Millions of people are prescribed antibiotics each year for sinus infections, a frequent complication of the common cold, hay fever, and other respiratory allergies. In fact, 15 to 21 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions for adults in outpatient care are for treating sinus infections. Unfortunately, most of those people dont need the drugs. Heres why:

The drugs usually dont help.

Sinus infections can be painful. People with the condition usually have a stuffy nose combined with yellow, green, or gray nasal discharge plus pain or pressure around the eyes, cheeks, forehead, or teeth that worsens when they bend over. But sinus infections almost always stem from a viral infection, not a bacterial oneand antibiotics dont work against viruses. Even when bacteria are the cause, the infections often clear up on their own in a week or so. And antibiotics dont help ease allergies, either.

They can pose risks.

About one in four people who take antibiotics have side effects, such as stomach problems, dizziness, or rashes. Those problems clear up soon after stopping the drugs, but in rare cases antibiotics can cause severe allergic reactions. Overuse of antibiotics also promotes the growth of bacteria that cant be controlled easily with drugs. That makes you more vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant infections and undermines the good that antibiotics can do for others.

So when are antibiotics necessary?

How should you treat sinus infections?

How To Cope With Other Types Of Sinusitis

If your sinusitis is connected to allergies, getting the allergies under control can help reduce your symptoms. For some people, avoiding the source of the allergen can be enough to help reduce any ongoing sinus issues. For others, taking antihistamines might be the best option for coping with allergies. If your allergies are severe enough to interfere with your life, immunotherapy might be your best option for coping with them.

Patients who have chronic sinusitis might find that their best option is surgery. Sinus surgery can help reduce symptoms, make it easier for you to breathe, and reduce the number of infections you get.

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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.

How To Get Rid Of Bacteria Sinus Infection

Do Antibiotics Help With Sinus Infections?

Symptoms of sinus infections can be worked around by applying nasal decongestant sprays, oral antihistamines, nasal steroids, or nasal saline washes. Normally antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections. However, bear with us here because we may take risks. It is best not to rush to antibiotics.

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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 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
  • Colds

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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How Much Prednisone Should I Take For Sinus Infection

3.9/5read here

Steroids such as prednisone and cortisone help to reduce inflammation and swelling. However, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection if you have a sinus infection that isn’t responding to other treatments or lasts for more than 12 weeks.

Additionally, can steroids make sinus infection worse? Oral steroid don’t clear up sinus infections. NEW YORK – The steroid prednisolone is no better at reducing the symptoms of a sinus infection than a placebo, according to a new study. It’s possible that the steroid is simply less powerful than the body’s own abilities to fight infection, said Dr.

One may also ask, when should I take prednisone for sinus infection?

Steroids can be helpful in relieving inflammation associated with sinusitis and may be prescribed when symptoms are severe or in the post-operative period. Most commonly, you will be prescribed oral prednisone to take twice a day for 5 to 7 days.

How long does it take for methylprednisolone to work for sinus infection?

Rated Methylprednisolone for Anti-inflammatoryTook the 6 day 21 tabs of 4 mg for sinus infection. Along with antibiotic, within a few hours started feeling better.

Why Might Your Doctor Recommend Antibiotics For Sinusitis

What Can I Take For A Sinus Infection

You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:

  • You have symptoms of a bacterial infection and you have not gotten better after 10 days, even with home treatment.
  • Your symptoms are severe, or you have other problems, such as pus forming in your sinus cavities.
  • You have had sinusitis for 12 weeks or longer .

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Lingering Sinus Infection Or Chronic Runny Nose

A lingering sinus infection is different from a chronic runny nose. Chronic runny nose typically comes from allergies or other irritants in the air. However, this can turn into an infection over time.

When the sinuses become infected, the allergies, irritants, or viral cold have caused swelling in the nose thats blocked the drainage pathways. Consequently, fluid and mucous accumulate in the sinuses, where it has become infected with bacteria.

If youve been sick more than 10 days and begin to experience other symptoms like facial pressure, headache, and fever, youre dealing with more than a chronic runny nose.

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 JAMA in 2015 found that after saline irrigation, the second-best treatment for chronic sinusitis was a topical corticosteroid spray for a few days.

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Antibiotics For Sinus Infection

If youve ever had a sinus infection, you know how uncomfortableand persistentthey can be.

You cant breathe normally due to nasal congestion, postnasal drip interferes with sleep, and sinus pain makes your face ache.

Add in possible nasal discharge, headache, cough, fatigue, and fever, and no wonder you just want it to go away.

Unfortunately, sinus infections may last longer than you think: Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks, while chronic sinusitis lasts at least three months.

Although these infections dont require treatment, if youre uncomfortable, over-the-counter remedies such as decongestants and nasal saline irrigation, as well as lifestyle changes like increased fluid intake, may provide some symptom relief.

On the other hand, in most cases, antibiotics dont help treat a sinus infection and may cause more harm.

However, antibiotics can be appropriate for some sinus infections. It all comes down to whether a virus or bacteria is causing the infection.

To help clear up the confusion about antibiotics for sinus infections, in this article, Ill explain the differences between viral and bacterial sinus infections.

I will also discuss when to use antibiotics to treat a sinus infection and what types of sinus infections antibiotics treat.

Side Effects Of Doxycycline For Sinus Infection

When Should You Take Antibiotics?

Generally, there are only some minor side effects after taking Doxycycline for sinus infection. Common side effects that can occur after taking doxycycline are-

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Irritation in the throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Little to almost no urination
  • Lower count of white blood cells
  • Iron supplements and laxatives
  • Oral birth control pills

People who are in the habit of drinking alcohol are more likely to side effects of Doxycycline tablets, especially stomach upset. Moreover, when medicine is taken with milk or food it can reduce the absorption of medicine by the body.

The medicine also enhances the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. Hence, when stepping out of the house, make sure you are properly covered and wearing sunglasses and sunscreen.

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When Antibiotics Are Appropriate Treatment

Antibiotics may be given to people who are less able to fight off infection, such as those with diabetes, or serious heart or lung disease.

In addition, antibiotics can be given to those whose symptoms have gotten worse or those who show no improvement after seven days.

If antibiotics are given, a 10- to 14-day course is recommended, according to the practice guidelines. Amoxicillin or amoxicillin clavulanate are typically the first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin.

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Two Types Of Sinus Infections

Lets differentiate between acute and chronic sinus infections. Acute sinus infections can last up to 4 weeks. If you are experiencing sinus infection symptoms for longer than 2 weeks, it doesnt mean you have a bad case of sinusitis this is normal. If you experience symptoms for longer than 4 weeks, this can be considered subacute anything that lasts longer than 12 weeks is considered chronic.

Now, lets differentiate between bacteria and viruses. Either of the two can infect the body, and each warrants a different course of treatment. Bacterial infections require antibiotics, while viral infections do not they resolve themselves. All you can do in the latter case is to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and take decongestants. The majority of cases are viral, in which case your doctor cant prescribe you with anything other than decongestants.

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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

Using The Right Water During Saline Rinses

When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection?

When using saline nasal rinses, tap water should always be boiled and then allowed to cool to ensure cleanliness distilled water or premixed solutions could also be used instead of regular tap water.

Other home remedies for sinus infections include:

  • Drinking fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen and thin mucus. Avoid beverages that are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate the body, which could thicken mucus.
  • Breathing steam: Warm water is best . You can breathe in steam from either a bowl or shower.
  • Humidifying the air: Use a cool air vaporizer or humidifier,particularly at night while sleeping.
  • Avoiding environmental substances: Avoid tobacco smoke and chlorinated water that can dry up the mucus membranes and exacerbate symptoms.
  • Implementing treatment measures: At the first sign of infection, use antihistamines and employ regular nasal rinses.

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What Matters Most To You

Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.

Reasons to take antibiotics for sinusitis

Reasons not to take antibiotics

I know I have a bacterial infection that is causing my sinusitis.

A virus is causing my sinusitis.

Basics Of Doxycycline For Sinus Infection

According to a clinical trial published in the National Library of Medicine, doxycycline was far more effective than ampicillin in curing sinusitis in affected patients. 90% of the patients responded to the drug while only 35% responded to ampicillin. It was inferred that this is effective as it fights against the organisms as well as can penetrate the sinuses which act as a reservoir for the infections.

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that cures a wide variety of infections caused by different bacteria. Apart from sinusitis, it can also cure other bacterial infections including urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, eye infections, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc.

In addition to these infections, medicine is very effective in treating skin blemishes or acne. Moreover, it is believed that taking this drug also reduces the risk of malaria.

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