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Woman Taking Spoonful of PillsAre you treating your recurring sinus infections correctly? A common misconception about sinus infections is that they can be treated like a bacterial infection, using antibiotics. Often times, antibiotics are not effective in treating sinus infections and can end up doing more harm than good. Here are 3 reasons to stop treating your sinus infections with antibiotics.

1. Most sinus infections don’t respond to antibiotics.

Antibiotics are meant to treat bacterial infections in the body. However, most sinus infections are viral infections, not bacterial. What’s the difference?
Viral infections spread by entering healthy cells in your body, and altering them to become viral also. The transformed cells then follow suit, attacking other healthy cells. Unlike viruses, bacterial cells don’t need a host to stay alive in the body. Thus, the antibiotics are able to attack the harmful bacteria more easily without running the risk of damaging the body’s cells.
A bacterial infection might be to blame for a sinus infection that lasts longer than one week, or is accompanied by a fever. Some doctors will prescribe an antibiotic with instructions to wait a few days before filling it; a sinus infection should usually clear up on its own.

2. Your body is building up resistance to antibiotics.

Taking antibiotics regularly will allow the harmful bacteria to adapt to the medication. This will eventually hinder their ability to fight off bacterial infection in the future.

3. Antibiotics come with a slew of side effects.

When taking any medication, you run the risk of exhibiting side effects. With antibiotics, side effects can be caused by an allergy to the medication itself or its interaction with other medications you may be taking. Some common side effects are:

  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fever
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Headache

Risking these side effects would be warranted if the antibiotics were working to heal you. However, if you’re mistakenly taking antibiotics for a viral infection, these are unnecessary risks.

So, how should you treat your sinus infections?

When treating a sinus infection, the goal is to reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages and sinus cavities to promote drainage. Some proper treatment options include:

  • Saline nasal sprays
  • Oral decongestants
  • Intranasal steroids

A certified ENT can help you find a long-term solution for your recurring sinus infections. Quit the antibiotics and make an appointment with Dr. Pasha today to find a permanent solution that’s right for you