A sinus infection (sinusitis) does not typically need to be treated with antibiotics in order to get better. If you or your child is diagnosed with a sinus infection, your healthcare professional can decide if antibiotics are needed.
Sinus infections occur when fluid is trapped or blocked in the sinuses, allowing germs to grow. Sinus infections are usually (9 out of 10 cases in adults; 5-7 out of 10 cases in children) caused by a virus. They are less commonly (1 out of 10 cases in adults; 3-5 out of 10 cases in children) caused by bacteria.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
Pollutants (airborne chemicals or irritants)
Several conditions can increase your risk of getting a sinus infection:
A previous respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold
Structural problems within the sinuses
A weak immune system or taking drugs that weaken the immune system
In children, the following are also risk factors for a sinus infection:
Going to daycare
Using a pacifier
Drinking a bottle while laying down
Being exposed to secondhand smoke
Signs and Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of a sinus infection include:
Stuffy or runny nose
Loss of the sense of smell
Facial pain or pressure
Postnasal drip (mucus drips down the throat from the nose)
Fatigue (being tired)
See Kwik Kare Urgent Care of Newnan, GA if you or your child has any of the following:
Temperature higher than 100.4 °F
Symptoms that are getting worse or lasting more than 10 days
Multiple sinus infections in the past year
Symptoms that are not relieved with over-the-counter medicines
You may have chronic sinusitis if your sinus infection lasts more than 8 weeks or if you have more than 4 sinus infections each year. If you are diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, or believe you may have chronic sinusitis, you should visit your healthcare professional for evaluation. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by nasal growths, allergies, or respiratory tract infections (viral, bacterial, or fungal).
Diagnosis and Treatment
Kwik Kare urgent care can determine if you or your child has a sinus infection by asking about symptoms and doing a physical examination.
Antibiotics may be needed if the sinus infection is likely to be caused by bacteria. Antibiotics will not help a sinus infection caused by a virus or an irritation in the air (like secondhand smoke). These infections will almost always get better on their own. Antibiotic treatment in these cases may even cause harm in both children and adults.
There are several steps you can take to help prevent a sinus infection, including:
Practice good hand hygiene
Keep you and your child up to date with recommended immunizations
Avoid close contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections
Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
Use a clean humidifier to moisten the air at home
Do you have any other questions or concerns? Contact Crossroads Care Today! (470) 215-4320