How To Treat Sinusitis

Posted by M ws On Sunday, October 6, 2013 0 comments
Millions of people are prescribed antibiotics each year for sinusitis, a frequent complication of the common cold, hay fever, and other respiratory allergies. In fact, 15 to 21 percent of all antibiotic prescriptions for adults in outpatient care are for treating sinusitis. Unfortunately, most of those people probably don’t need the drugs. Here’s why:

The drugs usually don’t help.

Sinusitis can be uncomfortable. People with the condition usually have congestion combined with yellow, green, or gray nasal discharge plus pain or pressure around the eyes, cheeks, forehead, or teeth that worsens when they bend over. But sinus infections almost always stem from a viral infection, not a bacterial one—and antibiotics don’t work against viruses. Even when bacteria are responsible, the infections usually clear up on their own in a week or so. And antibiotics don’t help ease allergies, either.

They can pose risks.

About one in four people who take antibiotics have side effects, including stomach problems, dizziness, or rashes. Those problems clear up soon after stopping the drugs, but in rare cases antibiotics can cause severe allergic reactions. Overuse of antibiotics also encourages the growth of bacteria that can’t be controlled easily with drugs. That makes you more vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant infections and undermines the benefits of antibiotics for others

They’re usually a waste of money.

Antibiotics often aren’t very expensive, but any money spent on unnecessary drugs is money down the drain. And since patients often request prescriptions and doctors often comply, the total cost to the health-care system is substantial—at least $31 million a year.

So when are antibiotics necessary?

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