Are Antibiotics Needed for a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the nasal passages that does not always require the treatment of antibiotics. But, how do you know when it does?

First you need to determine if you may have acute or chronic sinusitis.
-Acute means less than three times per year and it typically lasts less than one month.
-Chronic would describe a condition occurring more than four times per year and lasting well over four months in durations.

Causes of a Sinus infection:

      Fungal infections


      Weakened immune system




      Physical condition within the nasal cavity




Symptoms of a Sinus Infection:

      Postnasal drip


      Stuffy nose


      Nasal discharge






      Sore throat






When to see a doctor:

      Symptoms that last more than ten days.


      Several bouts of sinusitis within the year


      A temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F


    No relief with over the counter (OTC) medication


Antibiotics will not help if… sinusitis is caused by a virus or an irritant or pollutant. Taking antibiotics when not necessary can cause the bacteria in your body to become less effective when antibiotic use is required.

Antibiotics will help if… sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Your doctor or other healthcare provider can best determine if antibiotics are needed.

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