Antibiotics for Sinus Infections – Yes or No?

Antibiotics for sinus infections - yes or no?

Antibiotics for Sinus Infections – Yes or No?

One of the most common complaints from our new patients is that they have been taking antibiotics for a very long time, and they don’t work on their sinus conditions, such as sinusitis, sinus infection or post-nasal drip. In fact , most people who have sinus infections should not be treated with antibiotics because the drugs are unlikely to help. The question begs, are antibiotics for sinus infection effective?

Because many general physicians are not sinus experts specifically trained in disorders of the nose and sinuses, antibiotics are often prescribed when they should not be. Sinus infections are the fifth-leading cause for antibiotic prescriptions; however, 90% of the time or more, the infection is not bacterial but viral – which means antibiotics won’t help! ( And as we noted in another post , using decongestants and antihistamines aren’t helpful and may make symptoms worse.)

Beyond that, overuse of antibiotics has other bad effects, including helping “superbugs” develop which are resistant to drugs, and decreasing your own responsiveness to antibiotics when they are needed.

There isn’t a simple test that determines whether your condition is bacterial or viral. That’s why it’s important to have an ENT doctor and sinus doctor who is an expert in these conditions. The doctors of Del Rey Sinus & Allergy Institute have seen thousands of cases over the years, so their experience can help you quickly get back to health.

Bacterial sinus infections

Your sinus infection may be caused by bacteria, and should be treated with antibiotics, if these criteria are true:

  • symptoms last for 10 days or more and are not improving
  • symptoms are severe, including fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or more, nasal discharge and facial pain lasting three to four days
  • symptoms get worse, with new fever, headache or increased nasal discharge

If an antibiotic is prescribed, we recommended taking antibiotics for five to seven days, which is long enough for the treatment of adults but doesn’t encourage bacterial resistance.

Because sinus infections can look similar to other disorders, you need treatment by an expert. Del Rey Sinus & Allergy Institute has the latest diagnostic equipment and a full range of sinus treatments to help you get back to health and breathe better, today.

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