If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis (sinus infection), you understand all too well that it’s a painful condition. As it lingers for weeks on end, you grow weary of having to endure unpleasant, irritating symptoms.
You may even plead with your doctor to give you an antibiotic, expecting instant relief.
In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will address if you can treat chronic sinus infections without antibiotics.
What is a chronic sinus infection?
The sinuses are small cavities in the skull that are normally filled with air. They produce mucus, which helps keep the nasal passages clear of allergens and pollutants. If all goes well, mucus drips harmlessly down the back of your throat, and you don’t even notice it.
When you have sinusitis, the tissues that line your sinus cavities become inflamed. In some cases this swelling blocks off the sinuses, trapping mucus and causing a variety of annoying symptoms.
This can cause pain and pressure, as your sinuses aren’t able to drain normally. If symptoms linger, chronic sinusitis can develop, lasting for several weeks and even lingering – and causing misery – for years.
What are the symptoms of chronic sinusitis?
Most cases of chronic sinusitis develop following an acute sinusitis infection.
You may be suffering from chronic sinusitis if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Drainage of a thick yellow or greenish discharge from your nose or down the back of your throat
- Nasal obstruction or congestion, which makes it difficult for you to breathe through your nose
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead
- A reduced sense of smell or taste
Can I treat chronic sinus infections without antibiotics?
Regardless of the type of sinusitis you have, there are a number of treatments that can help. The key to finding relief is to figure out what’s really causing the underlying problem that’s causing your sinusitis.
Your doctor may recommend any of the following treatments to help relieve your symptoms:
- Saline nasal irrigation: This treatment involves spraying or pouring a saline solution into one nostril. The solution washes out mucus as it moves from one nostril to the other.
- Nasal corticosteroids: These sprays help reduce the swelling and mucus associated with chronic sinusitis. They can also be used to help prevent nasal polyps from growing back after they’ve been surgically removed.
- Oral or injected corticosteroids: Similar to nasal corticosteroids, these are used to relieve inflammation, especially if you also have nasal polyps.
- Decongestants: These medications are available as over-the-counter and prescription medications in various forms. They help lessen the leaking of fluid into your nasal tissues and help your nasal passages feel more open.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) can help relieve facial pain.
Antibiotics are only sometimes necessary for sinusitis if you have a bacterial infection.
Chronic sinusitis is often caused by something other than bacteria, so antibiotics may not help. In this case, your doctor will treat chronic sinus infections without antibiotics and will instead use other treatments. In fact, over-using antibiotics can contribute to infections that become drug-resistant.
If chronic sinusitis keeps coming back, surgery is occasionally the best treatment option. A surgeon can remove blockages and enlarge the sinus passages, making it easy for fluid to properly drain.
Where can I find treatment to address my chronic sinusitis without antibiotics?
In order to successfully treat your sinusitis, it’s important to pinpoint exactly what’s causing this condition. If, for example, it’s caused by a deviated septum, it will continue to occur until the underlying problem is corrected.
At DFW Sinus Select, we specialize in tailoring treatments that are designed to give you the best possible long-term results with minimal side effects. We’re here to help you get the relief you need and help treat chronic sinus infections without antibiotics if appropriate in your particular case.
Our practice offers numerous office locations so you can conveniently access top-notch care close to home.
It’s important to visit a DFW Sinus Select specialist to properly diagnose your sinus issues and receive information about the best treatment options.