What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision
Check the facts
- You are right. Most of the time, sinusitis is caused by a virus, and antibiotics don’t work against a virus.
- Sorry, that’s not right. Most of the time, sinusitis is caused by a virus, and antibiotics don’t work against a virus.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Most of the time, sinusitis is caused by a virus, and antibiotics don’t work against a virus.
- Sorry, that’s not right. Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
- You’re right. Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
- You’re right. Antibiotics can treat short-term sinusitis when it is caused by bacteria. But many people get better even without antibiotics.
- Sorry, that’s not right. Antibiotics can treat short-term sinusitis when it is caused by bacteria. But many people get better even without antibiotics.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Antibiotics can treat short-term sinusitis when it is caused by bacteria. But many people get better even without antibiotics.
Personal Stories About Antibiotics For Sinusitis
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I’ve had sinusitis a few times. So when my doctor suggested I take an antibiotic, I asked him if I really needed it. He said I would probably get better faster if I took the medicine. But I know from the other times that I’ll probably be okay in a week or so anyway. So we decided to wait and see instead of trying antibiotics.
I can’t wait to feel better. It seems like I’ve had bad sinus pain for the longest time. It’s been at least 2 weeks. Nasal sprays aren’t helping. I’m going to ask my doctor for antibiotics.
I thought I just had a bad cold, but my doctor says I have sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection. I’ve been doing all the right things at home, but it isn’t going away. I think antibiotics are the next step for me.
I thought I’d get my doctor to give me some antibiotics for my sinusitis. Then I’d be over it sooner. But it turns out that antibiotics won’t help me, since my sinusitis started as a cold. I didn’t know that antibiotics don’t always work. I’m going to wait it out instead.
John, age 52
When Do I Actually Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
There are several guidelines for determining if a patient actually needs antibiotics for a sinus infection. If you have thick, colorful nasal discharge and/or facial pain for at least 10 days, you meet the criteria. This does not mean if you have a slightly yellow or clear nasal discharge for 10 days having discharge from the nose for at least 4 weeks is normal in the case of sinus infections.
The second criterion is if your symptoms have improved but then got worse again, even if its been less than 10 days. This is referred to as double worsening and is a common scenario in bacterial infections. However, even then, you may want to follow what doctors suggest as watchful waiting. Wait 2 weeks and see if symptoms got better. Use over-the-counter medications and supportive care , as they often do the trick.
Benefits Of Antihistamines For Allergies
Because antihistamines prevent the release of histamine, they dry up the excess fluids that lead to excessive tearing and a runny nose. Most antihistamines also include compounds that reduce the itching and irritation that can make your eyes feel as if they have sand in them. They inhibit the urge to sneeze and can also minimize irritation in the throat that leads to coughing.
Antihistamine medications should be taken once a day and will last for a full 24 hours. They have minimal side effects and can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. There are many different types of antihistamines on the market. The top four include:
- ZyrtecÂ® â Zyrtec , comes in both pill form and liquid capsule. Itâs used to treat upper respiratory allergies but is also effective for skin rashes and hives. It offers quick relief with few side effects or drug interactions.
- ClaritinÂ® â Claritin is a popular allergy medication because it can be taken safely by both adults and children. It comes in pill form and is used to treat seasonal allergies, skin rashes, and hives. It offers few side effects and can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription.
Remember that generics work just as well as brand-names. Itâs important that you read labels carefully so you only by the products that address your particular symptoms. If you have questions, always speak to your doctor or a specialist before you buy a particular product.
Advice from the Sinus Surgeon himself :
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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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
Vicks Dayquil Cough Cold And Flu Relief
Vicks DayQuil Cough Cold and Flu Relief are softgels that contains acetaminophen which has been widely used as a pain reliever or fever reducer, dextromethorphan which is an effective cough Suppressant, phenylephrine which is a nasal decongestant. Following the main ingredients, this over-the-counter medicine also has povidone and guaifenesin one has an antibacterial property and the latter is an expectorant that helps clear mucus and phlegm from the chest.
Proven effective in relieving fever, headache, nasal congestion, sinus congestion, sore throat, cough and flu-like symptoms such as minor body aches and pains. Taking this on daytime is not a problem since, unlike the commonly used drugs for colds, Vicks DayQuil Cough Cold and Flu Relief has a non-drowsy formula. To achieve the best effect, take two caplets every four hours. Be mindful that taking this medication should not exceed more than 5 days especially if symptoms get worse. It is still advisable that incase symptoms worsen, please consult a doctor.
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Nice Is Advising Healthcare Professionals To Tell Their Patients That A Sinus Infection Will Likely Clear
27 October 2017
The final guidance, developed with Public Health England, makes recommendations for treating acute sinusitis.
In most cases, people who have sinusitis will start to feel better within two-to-three weeks. The infection is usually viral, which means antibiotics should not be routinely prescribed, the guidance says.
Instead, NICE says healthcare professionals should advise their patients on how to manage their aches and pains with paracetamol.
They should also tell them that there is no evidence oral decongestants or steam inhalation will make any difference. And inform them that they should seek further medical advice if their symptoms get worse, or last for more than three weeks.
Dr Tessa Lewis, GP and chair of the managing common infections guidance committee, said: We know that most people with sinus infections will recover in a couple of weeks without needing any antibiotics, but that doesnt mean we should be sending them home without any information or advice.
Health professionals can help their patients cope with this infection and the sometimes unpleasant symptoms it can cause. They should tell them that theyll probably be feeling this way for a while, and that unless they are very unwell, the best thing to do is to take paracetamol and take it easy.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE said:Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest dangers to our health, which is why we must all work together to fight it.
Why Might Your Doctor Recommend Antibiotics For Sinusitis
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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What Is A Sinus Infection
The sinuses are cavities in the head that are filled with air. These air-filled pockets are lined with a very thin layer of mucus that functions to collect particles from the air that are breathed in, such as dust, germs, or other particles.
Very small hair-like projections function to sweep the mucus, along with any particles trapped inside of the mucus. The germ- or dirt-filled mucus then slides down the back of the throat and into the stomach where stomach acid works to kill any germs.
When a sinus infection occurs, this natural process involving mucus flow is blocked.
Antibiotics Arent Effective Against Viruses
There is a difference between conditions caused by a virus and bacteria, the main one being that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Another difference is that while viral illnesses will typically resolve with time and supportive treatment, bacterial infections will often progress rapidly and can cause dangerous health problems if they are not treated with the correct antibiotic. Fortunately, this is not common with sinus infections.
Provided you are generally healthy without any serious, chronic illnesses, most viral infections will go away in five to seven days. Granted, those days may make you miserable, but antibiotics do nothing to speed your healing.
Less commonly, viral infections can sometimes take weeks or months before they fully resolve. Examples of viral illness that can be prolonged include the flu, COVID-19, and mononucleosis.
It may also surprise you to learn that antibiotics arent always the right choice in treating sinus infections.
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Halo Oral Antiseptic Berry
Halo is an oral antiseptic that protects against airborne germs. Protection from sickness is just a squirt away! It is packaged in a small 1 fl. oz. bottle and three sprays in the mouth kills 99.9% of many common harmful germs and bacteria that normally lasts for up to six hours. This is a great and a hassle-free tool for using while at school, bus, grocery store or in any crowded place there is.
Unlike the other oral antiseptics, this one has a kids formula and comes in two different varieties: citrus and berry flavor for adult and grape flavor for children. This is a kid friendly suggestion to suppress the common colds and prevent from further sinus complications including fever, congested and stuffy nose, sore throat and cough, and most especially flu.
How Is Sinusitis Treated
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your sinusitis. Most of the time, treatment includes medicines and taking care of yourself at home. Medicines that are used most often include:
- , such as Sudafed, that are taken as pills or liquids. These can reduce swelling and improve sinus drainage.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine, such acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
- Antibiotics, which kill bacteria. Antibiotics will only work if your sinusitis is caused by bacteria. Most of the time, sinusitis is caused by a virus.
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When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue. Do I maybe need antibiotics? she asked.
Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
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.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
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Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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 from 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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