What can I do about Sinusitis?

by | Ask The Intern

What you need to know about your Sinusitis

Sinusitis also known as sinus infection can have many causes but the most common is either bacterial or viral. Occasionally, sinusitis is due to more uncommon reasons like heartburn for reflux.

Many times you can be treated based on you signs and symptoms and with some physical findings. If you answer a few questions, the cause of you sinusitis can usually be determined and treatment advised. Let’s review these.

What are the symptoms of Sinusitis?

Common symptoms of sinus infections include:

  • Congestion with runny nose and/or stuffy nose
  • Headache (facial pain and/or pressure)
  • Post-nasal drip or mucus dripping down the throat (may cause some coughing)
  • Sore throat
  • Ear Congestion or fullness
  • Bad breath

How did I get a Sinusitis?

Sinus infection can be caused by several factors:

  • Recently having cold or upper respiratory tract infection (viral) is most common
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Structural problems within the sinuses (such as growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses, known as nasal polyps)
  • A weak immune system or taking drugs that weaken the immune system

Antibiotics Get You Well Fast, Right?

Doctors treat sinus infections (sinusitis) with antibiotics when it is determined to be necessary. Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but your doctor can decide if you need this after and assessment. Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but here we can help you decide if you need an antibiotic. We can follow along with you over a few days and see how it goes with some home remedies first. Yes, you might need an antibiotic. Here is what we like for you to do first for a few days. Use the saline nasal spray to irrigate the sinuses 3-4 times a day, then after you blow your nose use the Flonase Nasal Spray once daily. Do NOT use tap water to irrigate your sinuses! You should also take Mucinex (Guaifenesin) to thin the mucus. You can still use the Tylenol and Advil for pain and an antihistamine for allergy symptoms (Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra).  Use telemedicine to let us know how you are doing. If you need further treatment, we can do that.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/sinus-infection.htm

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