Do you have a bacterial or a viral infection?

Do you have a bacterial or a viral infection?

Do you have a bacterial or a viral infection?

One of the issues that confuses our patients the most is whether their condition is triggered by a viral infection or bacteria.

It’s important to note that if you have a cold or flu, antibiotics won’t work to reduce your sinus congestion.

This helpful chart from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the conditions that are viral and those that are bacterial:

Many of our patients want to take antibiotics as the “ultimate solution” for sinus congestion, sinus infection or sinusitis and when used properly, antibiotics can be helpful for treating  sinus conditions. But when you use antibiotics when they are not called for, or overuse antibiotics, it can contribute to antibiotic resistance. This occurs when the antibiotic kills most harmful bacteria, but leaves some behind. These survivors become more resistant to treatment by antibiotics and can make you more susceptible to an infection later.

The full story, and explanation of the proper use of antibiotics, is at the CDC site. You should only take antibiotics when instructed by your doctor for your immediate condition. Never keep antibiotics to use at a later date. To really know your sinus or throat conditions and the best treatment, please contact our office.

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