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A sinus infection (sinusitis) is the inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses. Sinuses are cavities in the bone structure between your eyes, behind your cheekbones, and in your forehead. These spaces make mucus that helps keep your nose moist and clean. When these sinuses become swollen because of a cold, allergies, polyps, or a deviated septum, this mucus builds up and eventually causes an infection of the sinuses.
Sinus infections can make it difficult to breathe through your nose. You may notice swelling around your eyes and face, as well as throbbing facial discomfort or a headache. Most cases of acute sinusitis heal within 7-10 days on their own unless a bacterial infection develops. Acute sinusitis can usually be cured with simple home remedies, but chronic sinus infections may last several months and require medical treatment.
Below is a list of medications used to treat sinus infections, which a doctor or provider can prescribe to you for just $5 through SesameRx.
Note that all prescriptions are at your provider's discretion.
Below are common treatment options for sinus infections. During your appointment, talk to your doctor about what treatment plan is right for you.
In most cases, antibiotics are not appropriate to treat a sinus infection. As the vast majority of cases of acute sinusitis are caused by viruses, it is likely to go away on its own. Before assessing the need for antibiotics, your doctor may wait and observe whether your acute sinusitis worsens. Antibiotics may be used if the symptoms are severe, progressive, or chronic.
For some people, irritation from allergies may cause a sinus infection. If so, your doctor may recommend or prescribe allergy/ decongestant medications to clear the nasal passages.
Most cases of sinus infection can be treated with simple at-home methods. These include:
- Saline nasal spray: Use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray several times a day to rinse the nasal passages
- Moisten sinus cavities: Drape a towel over your head and breathe in the vapor from a bowl of hot water. This helps moisturize the nose, drain mucus and relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection. Alternatively, take a hot shower and inhale the warm, wet air.
- Warm compress: A warm compress applied to your nose and forehead may help alleviate sinus congestion.
If you experience sinus infections caused by allergic irritation, immunotherapy can help address the underlying cause of congestion. Immunotherapy introduces small, measured doses of an allergen to your body to improve the body’s tolerance to that irritant. Gradually, this therapy should reduce your body’s reaction to the allergen. Immunotherapy may not provide immediate relief for a sinus infection but it can help prevent recurring sinus infections for those who struggle with chronic sinusitis.