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Effective Treatment for a Sinus Infection

Video transcription

Hi I'm Dr. David Hill and today we are going to be talking effective treatment for sinus infection. When we talk about sinus infections we really need to divide them up into several kinds. The most common is plainly the common cold. It is just a viral infection that gets in the nose and the sinuses. The sinuses by the way are air filled cavities within the skull. There is two here, two here and then two more pairs deeper in the skull in places I can't really point to. When you get a cold viruses infect both the nose and the sinuses and the good news is this is going to go away on its own. There is really no effective way for colds. If the cold is lasting more than seven to ten days if there is a fever that goes on more than three days or a fever that occurs later on in the illness after five to seven days. Also if the cold symptoms seem to worsen suddenly and severely after five to seven days of symptoms, all those are reason to suspect that what you have actually got is a bacterial rhinosinusitis. In other words now instead of a virus infecting the sinuses there is a bacteria that has moved in and is causing a more severe infection. In children these bacterial rhinosinusitis tend to respond pretty well to antibiotic therapy. They may also benefit from a nasal steroid spray temporarily. In adults it is not nearly as clear that antibiotics make much difference in the course of a rhinosinusitis. Many doctors will stay try to use them but the fact is that if we look at the data it is not at all obvious that people who take antibiotics even for a bacterial rhinosinusitis do any better than people who don't. In fact nasal steroids and nasal lavage using a neti pod and salt water may work just as well as if not better than antibiotics. Now the last kind of sinusitis is a chronic rhinosinusitis. This is usually a process that has been going on for more than a month and this is one of the great challenges of medicine. There are various surgical options that have been tried, nasal steroids, even systemic steroids, long term antibiotics, all these things have been tried but there is really no known slam dunk therapy for a chronic sinusitis. That is something you have to work with your doctor or your ear, nose, and throat doctor to address and try and figure out if there is a therapy that may be helpful for you. Talking about how to make a sinusitis go away I'm Dr. David Hill.

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