What is the Best Treatment for Sinus Infection
- Posted on: May 2 2023
What is the best treatment for sinus infection?
If you get sinus infections, you’ve probably received lots of different treatments over the years. Depending on what type of provider you see, you may receive one or more of the following: an antibiotic, a steroid, a nasal steroid, over-the-counter meds or possibly nothing at all.
Unfortunately, many of these treatments are not adequate to properly eradicate a sinus infection, especially if it’s a chronic issue.
At our ENT practice, we have formulated a medical treatment plan that is highly effective for acute and chronic sinusitis. We also have a plan of care if your sinus infection does not clear from medication.
The best treatment for a sinus infections includes a combination of three things:
- Oral antibiotic: Most sinus infections are bacterial (some can be fungal) and treatment with an oral antibiotic is often recommended. Penicillin antibiotics are most commonly used such as amoxicillin. If there are drug allergies an alternative may be used such as cefdinir or doxycycline. The length of treatment is determined by your practitioner based on the severity of infection and if it is an acute or chronic infection. Some chronic infections may need up to 20 days of oral antibiotic treatment to attempt to eradicate the infection.
- Oral steroid: A steroid such as prednisone or methylprednisolone is helpful to decrease swelling and open the sinuses to help the infection drain. The most common steroid we prescribe is a Medrol Dosepak which is a 6-day tapered steroid.
- Compounded nasal spray: There is a special nasal spray with a combination of an antibiotic (gentamicin), steroid (dexamethasone), and antifungal (itraconazole) that is highly effective at treating sinusitis. We often recommend a treatment with this spray for 4 weeks. It is made by a compounding pharmacy.
It is important that all three of these medications are taken at the same time to attempt to eradicate a sinus infection.
A follow-up appointment is recommended to confirm if your sinusitis has resolved. This includes a low-radiation sinus CT scan and a nasal endoscopy performed by your ENT practitioner.
What if my sinus infection doesn’t clear?
It is possible that even with the best course of treatment your sinus infection may linger. This can be due to multiple factors: your sinuses have been clogged for a long time, you have structural problems blocking your sinus openings, the bacteria is harder to treat, and/or you have nasal polyps with a fungal issue.
The plan of action for a persistent sinus infection is often an option for minimally invasive procedures. This may include balloon sinuplasty, septoplasty, turbinate reduction, polypectomy, or cyclone lavage depending on your situation.
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