Sinus Infection Treatment
The pain that develops from a sinus infection can be intense. Every year, over 31 million Americans are afflicted with this health problem. Allergy sufferers, people with compromised immune systems, asthmatics and those with structural blockages of the nose or sinuses are in the high-risk category for this ailment.
Over-the-counter medications are used by thousands to relieve symptoms, and those with more severe cases must resort to doctor visits and prescription medication. When caught early enough, most sinus infections are easy to treat and do not lead to complications.
There are a variety of treatments available for sinus infections. Choosing the most effective treatment depends on the cause of the infection.
Types of Treatment
Bacterial sinus infections are treated with antibiotics in most cases. The type of antibiotic will determine how long it must be taken, anywhere from 3 to 29 days. Patients who have had long term infections or more severe episodes can expect to be on antibiotics longer.
Nasal decongestant sprays are used for short-term relief for up to four days. Swollen nasal passages shrink and drainage flows better. These medications need to be used with caution to avoid a rebound phenomenon. If used too long, you could become dependent on nasal spray because the nasal passages will close due to swelling.
Allergy patients depend on antihistamines to help relieve discomfort. The antihistamines block the inflammation caused by allergic reactions and relieve symptoms. Combination drugs using both nasal decongestants and antihistamines can be effective; however, some contain ingredients that can cause mucus to become thick.
Corticosteroids applied topically through nasal sprays are prescription medications that prevent and reverse the swelling and inflammation associated with a sinus infection. In addition, these drugs also shrink and prevent the return of nasal polyps.
Saline washes are often used to rinse nasal passages and sinuses to clear them of mucus. One popular method of doing this is using a Nettie pot.
Sinus infections can be very uncomfortable, and the pain they cause can be unbearable. Prompt treatment can ease the discomfort and help you get back to normal. Contact Dr. Michael for help with the discomfort caused by your sinus infection.