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What is the best sinus treatment?

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Quick Answer

Sinustis treatments vary between patients based on the underlying causes, according to WebMD. Common strategies include a combination of doctor-prescribed medication and self-care measures. Home remedies include individuals using humidifiers or steam vapors to help ease swollen nasal passages, applying warm heat to their faces, using nasal saline solutions, flushing our their sinuses, and resting.

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Full Answer

Sinusitis occurs as a result of tissue inflation in bone cavities in the facial area, especially the nose, explains WebMD. Acute sinusitis lasts for as much as four weeks and is typically triggered by a cold, allergy or, in the case of individuals with weakened immune systems, fungal growth. Chronic sinusitis is often caused by structural faults in the nasal area, or growths such as nasal polyps, which restrict proper drainage.

For acute bacterial infections, doctors often prescribe antibiotics for a 10- to 14-day period, notes WebMD. In the case of chronic infections, doctors typically provide a longer prescription. However, while such prescriptions are common, sinusitis is rarely caused by bacteria, and many patients use such medication to excess. Individuals with short-term infections can often use ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other painkillers in order to help manage their symptoms, but these medications not appropriate for more than 10-day periods. Decongestants, which come as sprays and pills, can temporarily reduce congestion, but begin to have reverse effects after a few days and are not suited to more than a week of consecutive use, at most.

For individuals with allergy-induced sinus issues, doctors often prescribe medications such as antihistamines and encourage allergy testing for those without a prior diagnosis, says WebMD. Some patients also undergo long-term allergy shot treatments that reduce the allergen's effects. In extreme chronic sinusitis cases, doctors may prescribe inhalable or oral steroids or recommend surgery to help adjust nasal passages.

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