When you notice the first signs of facial pressure and sinus pain, you’re probably desperate for a way to stop the infection before it is debilitating. Instead of burying your head under a pillow and waiting for it to clear up, it’s important that you are proactive with your treatment plan. Even a small sinus infection can develop severe symptoms when left untreated.
Whether it’s your first sinus infection or you have chronic sinusitis, it’s essential to know your treatment options. Clearing up the infection should be a high priority so you can avoid potential complications of untreated infections.
What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection?
The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection depends on the cause of the condition. Working with an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor is an essential step to getting to the root cause of your sinus troubles. With an accurate diagnosis and a clear understanding of the condition, the doctor can identify a proven treatment method that will clear up the infection.
The best treatment will focus on relieving the immediate symptoms while also focusing on clearing up the infection. For example, your ENT might recommend a nasal spray or decongestant to relieve the pressure and congestion you are experiencing. At the same time, taking an antibiotic can help clear out the bacteria that are causing the infection.
The symptoms of a bacterial sinus infection often last for 10 or more days. Most people start to feel relief within 2 days after starting an antibiotic.
Is it Possible to Get Over a Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics?
While antibiotics are often recommended treatments for sinus infections, this medication isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every patient. While many sinus infections are caused by bacteria or fungus, viral infections can also be the root cause.
For example, if the root cause is a viral infection, then antibiotics won’t help in clearing up the infection. You will need to wait for the virus to run its course. Sometimes a secondary bacterial infection develops with the virus. Have you come down with a head cold, then the congestion worsens, and sinus pain develops a week later? The symptoms of the viral infection likely created the perfect conditions for the development of a bacterial infection in the sinuses.
In fact, with the rates of antibiotic resistance increasing, doctors are working to reduce the number of antibiotic prescriptions. There are times when antibiotics are needed for treatment. But each patient needs to be evaluated individually before jumping to conclusions about treatment options.
Getting Rid of a Sinus Infection without Antibiotics
How can I get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics? Here are a few non-antibiotic treatment options you might consider:
- Over the Counter (OTC) Remedies: Certain OTC medications can relieve the symptoms, which in turn helps your sinuses to heal. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be helpful in managing symptoms during your recovery time. Some people also find it beneficial to use antihistamine medications to reduce congestion and post-nasal drip.
- Sinus Rinses: If you are experiencing nasal congestion, it can be helpful to clear the sinuses. Not only does this treatment reduce your symptoms, but it changes the sinus environment to reduce the risk of infection development. Sinus rinses can be done with OTC saline solutions or prescription products. Or, you can try an at-home treatment using a neti pot and sterile water.
- Herbal Remedies: Aromatherapy or herbal tea can be another solution to reduce your symptoms of a sinus infection. Some patients find it soothing to smell eucalyptus or peppermint, which helps to clear the upper respiratory tract. Try adding a few drops of essential oil into your humidifier to spread the scent in the air.
If you find that these at-home sinus infections don’t work, then it might be time to talk to a doctor for medical treatment.
What is the Best Natural Antibiotic for Sinus Infection?
Natural antibiotic options include antibacterial foods and plant-based remedies that can support the body in fighting the infection. But it’s important to note that adding antibacterial foods to your meal plan isn’t an acceptable solution to clear up the infection. Instead, many patients focus on a combined approach of modern medicine and natural remedies at the same time.
Foods with antibacterial properties include:
- Oregano oil
When Should You Talk to an ENT About a Sinus Infection?
You should schedule a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat doctor if you are experiencing these sinus infection symptoms:
- An infection that lasts longer than 10 days
- Chronic, recurring sinus infections
- Thick, discolored nasal discharge
- Sinus pain and pressure that is disrupting your daily activities
- At-home remedies don’t work to relieve your symptoms
- Increase in pain
Family doctors or primary care physicians can help with basic sinus infection treatment by prescribing antibiotics and prescription-strength decongestants. But recurring sinus infections or chronic issues should be addressed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist – also known as an otolaryngologist. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might need a referral from your primary care physician before visiting an ENT.
Schedule an Exam with a Local ENT
Are you tired of chronic, recurring sinus infections? Then it’s time to talk to a specialist about your treatment options. Our team provides the individualized care that you deserve, including one-on-one treatment with an ENT. We get to the root of the problem with an accurate diagnosis, then custom-design a treatment plan based on the unique needs of each patient.
Frisco ENT – Collin County Ear Nose & Throat
If you live near the Collin County or Dallas area, then you’re invited to talk to one of our experienced ENTs at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat. We offer convenient offices in Frisco and Plano, TX. Request an appointment online, or call our office at (972) 596-4005.