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Harvard Health Blog
When do you really need antibiotics for that sinus infection?
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
About the Author
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Very Helpful information for my family because most of them are infected. After doing much research Finally, have found a useful article. Thanks
Rarely have I taken antibiotics, .but took three rounds last winter. Regular nasal wash and allergy shots have helped. Do you recommend allergy shots and probiotics after antibiotics.?
I’m a lifelong chronic and acute sinus infection patient. I have carefully observed my symptoms and patterns over 30+ years and can tell the difference between actually getting better and double worsening, between a fleeting viral sinus infection and a bacterial sinus infection settling in for a long spell. I am fortunate enough to have a strong relationship with my primary care physician and she recognizes my self-knowledge. If I get to 10 days without relief, she will provide me with an antibiotic prescription, but I typically wait another couple days to start it to be 100% sure it’s necessary. I don’t want to jinx myself, but we’re doing something right. For the first time in my 46 years, I have gone more than 4 months without a sinus infection or even a URI. As of today, it’s 15 months! 🙂 Lots of hand washing and a daily multivitamin are also big contributors.
That’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing your positive experience.
I have chronic post nasal drip. Now have left forehead ache, not
severe but troublesome. Could this be sinus infection?
Should I see a MD? Many thanks for advice.
Hard to say, and always a good idea to be evaluated.
Of course there are some segments of the population that should not decided to wait 10 days to see what will happen. Specifically the elderly and/or immune compromised. Children who have serial ear infections, etc. Sometimes these individuals, for a variety of reasons, wait longer than they should. It would be nice to mention this in articles such as this one which give the impression that everyone should follow these suggestions.
I completely agree. The guidelines apply only to healthy adults. There are many patients with complicating factors who would end up with an entirely different plan, and they should discuss with their own doctor.
Thanks for the write this helpful content..very nice information for me..Thanks again..
Thank YOU for the positive feedback!
Good post. Being infected is a sign that the body immunity system is weak. I will suggest that antibiotics should be taken after the physician have given his/her verdict on the infection. I am not supporting self medication because some drugs does have side effects.
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