Headaches, unrelenting congestion, facial tenderness and sensitivity? The symptoms of a sinus infection can be debilitating and interfere with everyday life. As a result, a sinus problem will typically prompt patients to seek immediate relief. In many cases, non-surgical solutions can be highly effective in treating mild sinusitis. Board certified nasal & sinus surgeon Dr. Alexis D. Furze recommends these non-surgical treatments to the first signs of sinusitis.
Antibacterials: Acute sinusitis that stems from a bacterial infection often resolves on its own and does not require the use of antibiotics. However, in some cases–particularly if acute sinusitis has progressed to chronic sinusitis–antimicrobial medications may be dispensed to clear up the infection. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include penicillin, macrolides, and erythromycin. A typical course of treatment lasts 7-10 days.
Antifungals: Some fungi-related sinusitis can be treated with antifungal medication, which may be administered orally or intravenously. Individuals with compromised immune systems often run the risk of developing invasive fungal sinusitis, a condition that poses a grave risk if left untreated. The antifungal medication Amphotericin B is typically given intravenously to combat cases of invasive fungal sinusitis.
Nasal Steroids: To alleviate inflammation, nasal steroids can be administered daily using a mist or spray. It typically takes a few weeks to register the benefits. This is the most common treatment Dr. Furze recommends his patients with mild form of sinusitis. Although safe and effective, individuals with certain risk factors (such as glaucoma or cataracts) should consult with their physician before using nasal steroids.
Saline Nasal Drainage: To reduce the concentration of pathogens (bacteria and fungi) and mucous build-up, daily saline flushes can be performed to irrigate the nose. A simple saline solution can be prepared at home using non-iodized salt and clean water. To irrigate, simply introduce the saline solution into one nostril via a bulb syringe or neti pot; then allow the solution to pass through and drain out the other nostril.
A popular alternative to sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive technique that can open up the nasal passages and facilitate proper drainage of the sinuses. The procedure is performed by inserting a small tube with a balloon into the nose. When the balloon is inflated, it expands the nasal passages. A saline solution is then used to flush out obstructing debris. Dr. Furze often recommends balloon sinuplasty for patients looking for immediate sinus relief. There is no recovery required with balloon sinuplast, allowing patients to return to normal activities the next day.
If you are experiencing discomfort due to sinusitis, contact Dr. Alexis D. Furze at his office in Newport Beach, California to schedule an appointment.