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How are sinus infections treated?

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Quick Answer

Sinus infection treatment may include the use of over-the-counter decongestants, antibiotics if the sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, and the use of OTC pain medications to lessen discomfort, according to WebMD. In some instances, inhaled or oral steroids may be prescribed, while chronic sinusitis that recurs repeatedly over time may require surgical intervention. Home remedies such a using a humidifier, breathing steam and drinking plenty of fluids may also be helpful.

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How are sinus infections treated?
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Full Answer

Medications can alleviate some of the discomfort of sinusitis and lessen its course. Antibiotics may be necessary for bacterial sinus infections, notes WebMD. A course of 10 days to 2 weeks may be prescribed. In the case of chronic sinusitis, a longer course may be necessary. Pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are often recommended for reducing pain associated with sinusitis. Allergy medications may be recommended for sinusitis caused by allergies, while oral decongestants such as Sudafed or Contact may reduce the amount of mucus produced by the sinuses.

Steroids, which are available only by prescription, may be necessary for reducing mucus membrane swelling. For extreme and stubborn sinusitis, surgery to enlarge the sinus passages and remove any blockages so that the sinuses can drain more readily may be the best course of treatment.

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