Saturday, November 26, 2022

Do I Need Medication For A Sinus Infection

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Duration Of Sinus Infection

Wellness Wednesday: Antibiotics for sinus infections?

Acute sinusitis causes inflammation and symptoms that often develop quickly and last 7 to 10 days if caused by a viral infection. But the illness can last for up to 4 weeks if its caused by a bacterial infection.

Chronic sinusitis lasts for 12 weeks or more. This inflammation can continue for months or years more, and people often describe them as a never-ending cold.

Sinusitis may also be classified as:

  • Subacute, in which symptoms last for more than 4 weeks but less than 12 weeks
  • Recurrent acute, in which there are at least four acute sinus infection episodes within one year
  • Acute exacerbation of chronic rhinosinusitis, in which symptoms worsen in a person with chronic sinusitis

But having symptoms of sinusitis doesnt always mean that you have a sinus infection.

Other Options To Try Before Taking Sinus Infection Medications

Besides inhaling steam to relieve pressure in your sinuses:

  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Avoid irritants to your sinuses
  • Nasal irrigation

Nasal irrigation, another treatment for sinus infections, means flushing out mucus and debris from the nose by pushing fluids through the nostrils. Some patients find this method uncomfortable, but overall more effective than simple steam.

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.

#2: Vaporizer

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.

#4: Decongestants
#5: Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.

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Common Colds And Sinus Infections

A viral infection associated with the common cold is the most common cause of sinus infections .

This virus may jump to other people, causing a cold that may also develop into viral sinusitis.

In only 0.5 to 2 percent of cases do people develop bacterial sinusitis , which is typically a complication of viral sinusitis. Bacterial sinusitis is not contagious.

In rare cases, fungi can cause a sinus infection, particularly if a person has a fungal allergy. But fungal sinusitis generally does not affect people with healthy immune systems.

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What Are Some Other Side Effects Of Coricidin D Cold/flu/sinus

Suffering from a sinus infection?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Not able to sleep.
  • Feeling sleepy.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

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What Happens When Unnecessary Antibiotics Are Prescribed

Research shows that even bacterial infections can clear up on their own without antibiotics within one to two weeks. This means that the majority of the time, antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed. Of all sinus infections, 85% clear up on their own, while only 15% do not. This 15% is the population that needs antibiotics.

Consuming antibiotics, even when you need them, increases side effects and bacterial resistance rates. This means that the more antibiotics prescribed, the more the bacteria will adapt to become resistant to that specific antibiotic. And there are only so many antibiotics to go around, so resistance should not be taken lightly. Thats why the overprescription of antibiotics is a public health emergency.

When To Use And Avoid Antibiotics And Other Treatments To Try

A sinus infection can be treated with antibiotics when it is caused by bacteria. Sinus infections that have other causes, such as allergies or viruses, won’t benefit from antibiotics.

Most sinus infections don’t need antibiotics and will start to get better without treatment. Healthcare providers typically only prescribe antibiotics for sinus infections that don’t clear up on their own.

This article looks at what types of sinus infections can be treated with antibiotics. It also discusses over-the-counter treatments and home remedies.

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If You Think You Have A Sinus Infection

If you feel you are experiencing sinus infection symptoms, make an appointment with your PartnerMD physician, and do not attempt to treat symptoms on your own. While you may initially be recommended OTC treatments, only your doctor can accurately diagnose your symptoms, and prescribe the right treatment for relief.

Have a question about your sinus infection symptoms? Contact us today to see if a relationship with a concierge doctor could be beneficial.

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When Does Antibiotic Resistance Occur

Are antibiotics needed for a sinus infection?

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.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to know if a sinus infection is bacterial, viral, or has other causes based on symptoms alone. Because viral sinus infections tend to improve in 5 to 7 days, healthcare providers will usually only prescribe antibiotics if your symptoms go on for longer than this. A sinus infection that persists for longer than a week or continues to get worse during this time period is more likely to be bacterial.

Therefore, allergists and other specialists recommend limiting the use of antibiotics unless:

  • Symptoms last over seven to 10 days
  • A fever is present

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Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute

There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:

  • Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
  • Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
  • Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
  • Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.

Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.

For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.

What Can I Do To Help Myself Recover

Your recovery time after sinus surgery depends on your personal health and the type of procedure you have. Your surgeon will tell you what to expect. But you may need to stay home from work for at least a week after your surgery. This may feel overwhelming, but the good news is, there are things you can do to help your recovery after sinus surgery:

  • Attend follow-up visits with your surgical team. After surgery, its important to follow up with your provider as instructed. At these visits, your provider will clean out blood and fluid from your nose and sinuses. These visits are important to make sure you are recovering well and to help your sinuses heal.

  • Flush your sinuses. You will be instructed to flush out your sinuses after surgery at least twice a day. Nasal irrigation devices, such as neti pots and squeeze bottles, help to clear debris and mucus. Its best to follow these instructions in order to heal quickly.

  • Do not smoke. Smoking interferes with the healing process and can result in failure of the surgery.

  • Avoid straining. Try to avoid straining, such as blowing your nose too hard or lifting anything greater than 20 pounds for 1 to 2 weeks. Straining yourself can worsen bleeding.

  • Avoid aspirin and NSAIDs. Dont take aspirin or NSAIDs for 1 to 2 weeks after surgery because these can worsen bleeding.

If you have questions about your instructions, or if you have unexpected discomfort, please contact your surgical team.

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What Are The Best Home Remedies For Sinus Infections

Acute and Chronic Sinusitis: Treatments and Home Remedies

There are a few simple home remedies that can be effective for relieving your pain and helping you clear your sinuses. To avoid using medications, try a warm compress on the nose and face, and flush nasal passages with a warm saline irrigation, says Dr. Elmore.

A homemade solution for nasal irrigation is one of the best home treatments for a sinus infection. You can use a syringe or a neti pot to stream a solution of non-iodized salt, baking soda, and lukewarm distilled water through the nostrils to help keep your nasal passages clean. Or, you can choose a product at your pharmacy that is already prepared and ready to mix packets.

Other home remedies for sinus infections include staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water, using decongestant nasal sprays, and inhaling steam over the stove or in the shower. Certain lifestyle adjustments may also promote nasal drainage such as sleeping with your head elevated at night or keeping a humidifier running in your home to avoid an arid environment.

To relieve pain at home, you can use a warm compress or take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce headaches and facial pain from congestion.

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Throat Irritation And Cough

As discharge from your sinuses drains down the back of your throat, it can cause irritation, especially over a long period of time. This can lead to a persistent and annoying cough, which can be worse when lying down to sleep or first thing in the morning after getting up from bed.

It can also make sleeping difficult. Sleeping upright or with your head elevated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing.

What Is A Fungus

A fungus is a living organism. It cant make its own food, so it takes its nutrients from decomposing matter in the soil, water or plants where it lives. Fungi live in the air, on surfaces, and on humans and other animals.

Scientists classify fungi in groups. They include mold, yeasts and mildew. Some fungi are big enough to see , and some are so small you can only see them with a microscope.

There are more than 100,000 species of fungi. They live all around us, and most arent dangerous. But some fungi can invade the body and multiply, leading to serious health problems. Different types of fungi cause infections in many parts of the body. Some examples are yeast infections, thrush and toenail fungal infections.

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Most Sinus Infections Dont Require Antibiotics

Ah, sinus infections. 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.

What Is A Serious Sinus Infection Like

How do I know if I need sinus surgery?

When sinus infections occur, theyre usually classified as either acute or subacute infections, meaning they go away in one to four weeks and are relatively minor.

The problem is chronic sinus infections, which often wont go away without intervention. If your sinus infection is persisting for longer than a month, and the symptoms are only getting worse, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. At that point, the infection is most likely bacterial, and your body will need the help of antibiotics to purge it.

Its very important to consult a healthcare professional before considering antibiotics, not only because youll require a prescription from a licensed doctor but because taking antibiotics more often than needed isnt good for your natural bacteria levels.

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Postnasal Drip Treatment Options

Treatment options for postnasal drip depend on the underlying symptoms for each individual. For mild cases of postnasal drip there are a variety of natural and home remedies that can help the condition from gargling with salt water to nasal irrigation. For more severe or chronic cases of postnasal drip, there are OTC and prescription medications options. We will discuss all viable treatment options in the sections that follow.

What Is A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis

Inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose is referred to as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by infection , but also can be caused by allergy and chemical irritation of the sinuses. A sinus infection occurs when a virus, bacterium, or fungus grows within a sinus.

Sinusitis is one of the more common conditions that can afflict people throughout their lives. Sinusitis commonly occurs when environmental pollens irritate the nasal passages, such as with hay fever. Sinusitis can also result from irritants, such as chemicals or the use and/or abuse of over-the-counter nasal sprays, and illegal substances that may be snorted or inhaled through the nose. About 30 million adults have sinusitis. Colds differ from sinusitis and are only caused by viruses and last about seven to 10 days while sinusitis may have many different causes , and usually last longer with more pronounced and variable symptoms.

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What Home Remedies Help Soothe Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis Symptoms

Sinus infections caused by viruses can use home treatments such as pain and fever medications , decongestants, and mucolytics. In addition, some health care professionals suggest nasal irrigation or a sinus rinse solution to help relieve symptoms of sinus infections, even chronic sinusitis symptoms. This irrigation is accomplished with a Neti-Pot or a sinus rinse kit . The last reference of this article shows a video of a sinus rinse procedure. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning about the use of Neti-Pots. The FDA cautions people not to use untreated tap water for rinsing, as contaminated tap water rinses lead to two deaths.

Bacterial and fungal sinus infections usually require antibiotic or antifungal therapy so home treatments without them are often not successful. However, some authors suggest home treatments may reduce symptoms after medical therapy has begun some healthcare professionals recommend nasal irrigation after sinus surgery.

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