When you have a horrible sinus infection, you could try one of the endless number of home remedies available. But if you just want relief, you'll want to discuss with your doctor the treatment options that are available. Each of the available medications can have a different level of effectiveness and different side effects.
Mucolytics may be able to reduce the symptoms of a sinus infection by thinning mucus, which makes it easier to drain. Fortunately, the side effects of mucolytic treatments are often not severe and some patients never notice them. Some patients may develop a rash or nausea when taking the liquid version and can experience diarrhea or nausea when taking mucolytic tablets.
Decongestants can reduce the symptoms of a sinus infection. However, they can also dry out your nose and you should drink a lot of fluids to reduce this symptom. Also, consider using a humidifier or a saline spray to keep your nasal passages moist. Patients can also suffer from headaches, feelings of restlessness and insomnia. Most patients do not report any side effects.
Synthetic penicillin is an antibiotic designed to kill the bacteria causing the sinus infection. Antibiotics for sinus infection can cause bacteria to gradually develop a resistance. If you do take an antibiotic, take it until the symptoms go away and then continue to take the antibiotic for one week. Side effects tend to be mild and include nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
Sulfur-containing antibiotics are an alternative if you are allergic to penicillin. The side effects are dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, headaches and skin rashes.
This nasal spray narrows the blood vessels and can fight sinus infections very quickly. The nasal spray should not be used excessively because you may develop a tolerance and it can cause side effects such as dryness and a burning sensation in the nose.
Steroids can inhibit inflammation effectively. Nasal sprays do not affect the rest of the body, unlike a steroidal pill. The nasal spray works immediately and it may also allow you to prevent a sinus infection if you use it before you begin suffering from seasonal allergies. Non-nasal steroids do not work immediately, but when they do take effect, decongestants are unnecessary. Some patients experience throat irritation and may sneeze more after using a steroidal nasal spray. The nasal spray can take two weeks to take effect.
If one of the medications does not work, consult with your doctor and do not get discouraged. For more information about your options, visit a clinic such as Sinus Center-Idaho.