Sinus infection develops when normal working of mucous membranes and sinuses get disrupted due to many reasons, like exposure to cold or dry air; environmental pollution; allergy; irregular eating and sleeping patterns; stress; over-exertion etc. All of these; in combination; or any of these, make the immune system weak and aggravate infection or inflame the membranes; and one’s mucous glands get stimulated & mucous secretion increases. As a result of this mucus starts building up in the hollow cavities in sinuses, and this leads to infection. The infection attacks because our immune system has become weak and allows the germs and infection to develop in the sinus cavities. And symptoms of sinus infection start to appear.
Every fifth medicine prescribed in the US is an antibiotic for sinus infection – that is how common the antibiotic drugs are. But according to the most recent research conducted on whether antibiotics really cured the patients of sinus infection, the results came as a surprise to some. Antibiotics have no more relieving power or cure no more than a placebo would in similar circumstances.
Acute sinus infection is something that heals itself within a few days on its own. Body sorts itself out of the infection if you give it a few days. Experiment was conducted on people with acute; severe; and very severe sinus infections. One group was given antibiotics and other was not. Then the infection was put under scan during its regular cycle, and it was observed that finally both groups got back to normalcy more or less within the same time period. Which went to prove that sinus infection, especially acute category generally under normal circumstances completes its course of 4-7 days and heals itself; antibiotics as such are not required. However doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat body ache, fever, congestion in the chest etc.
Time and again, effectiveness of nasal steroid spray has also been put to test for treating sinus infections but it has not held its ground. The reason behind antibiotics not being able to help reduce the infection was that the drugs couldn’t make its way into the pus-filled sinus hollow space.
It is true that when a person is attacked with Sinus infection, it leaves him/her all drained out of energy and feeling of being unwell for a few days. So much so that he may even have to take leave from office and stay at home. But if the person understands that that’ the way it is going to be and its best to bear it for a few days, it’s the better option than visiting a doctor and popping pills. When doctors in spite of knowing that antibiotics are not going to help prescribe the drugs, this uncalled for antibiotics in long term lead to many problems related with drug resistance. For some people sinus infection becomes chronic and the infection may even reach ears, and antibiotics are found to be ineffective to treat it or even bronchitis for that matter.
The doctors these days are advised to try and explain it to their patients to learn to forego the antibiotics so that their bodies can react to medicines when they are supposed to. Post swab test if it is found that it is bacterial sinus infection or chronic case likely to spread around chest and forehead etc, then may be the right antibiotic can be prescribed, in right dose, can possibly make the patient feel better rather quickly.
However when the doctor considers it fit to prescribe course of antibiotics, the patient should remember that he has to complete the course and not leave it half way, whether he realises he is cured of it when the course is still on or he realises that it was not bacterial infection. Without consulting the doctor who prescribed the antibiotics one should not stop the medication.