September, 2017

Does Your Sinus Infection Require Antibiotics?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Sinus infections are unpleasant, and it’s understandable that sufferers want relief as quickly as possible. Patients often visit their doctor to request antibiotics, and 90% of the time, general practitioners do prescribe antibiotics to treat acute sinus infections. But does your infection really require antibiotics?

The answer: it depends. Let’s take a closer look.

Do Sinus Infections Require Antibiotics?

do sinus infections need antibiotics

Sinuses flickr photo by NIAID shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Antibiotics are often over-prescribed and lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. As a result, it is extremely important to consider whether you really need them before asking your doctor for a script.

There are two distinct types of sinus infections – chronic and acute. Acute sinus infections last less than four weeks, and they will usually clear up on their own. The unpleasant symptoms may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. In most cases, though, cases of acute sinusitis do not require antibiotics.

If you have been experiencing symptoms for more than 12 weeks, though, you are suffering from a chronic sinus infection. When these infections take hold, they do not resolve on their own and antibiotics are necessary.

Antibiotics and Sinus Infections

Many patients seek antibiotics as a means of getting rid of their symptoms quickly. However, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that patients given antibiotics generally did not experience any more symptom relief than patients who received nasal steroid sprays or not treatment at all.

It is also important to note that antibiotics have no effect on viral infections. Just like the common cold, viral infections need time to clear up on their own.

If you are suffering from a sinus infection, it is best to see a sinus specialist. General practitioners commonly over prescribe antibiotics to treat these illnesses, and taking unnecessary medications could contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. If your sinuses are getting you down, contact Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas today. Call 956-504-5360.