Today, the medical community knows that prescribing antibiotics for sinus infections isn’t always the right route to go. In fact, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology cites that about 60 to 70 percent of people with sinus infections can get better without any antibiotics at all. However, not everyone is listening. WebMD reports that “[a]bout 90 percent of adults seen in the U.S. by a general practice physician do end up getting an antibiotic for acute sinusitis.”
How many of us have gone to the doctor and heard, “You have a sinus infection; I’ll give you an antibiotic to be on the safe side.” The truth is that unless the symptoms have lasted more than 10 days or have disappeared and come back within a few days, your infection is most likely viral. And unfortunately, antibiotics won’t help a virus.
But the real issue associated with taking an antibiotic when it isn’t necessary goes beyond it being ineffective: it’s antibiotic resistance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.”
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become so used to a particular medication that they mutate and are no longer affected by the same drug. This new resistant strain then multiplies and continues to cause harm until a new antibiotic is developed to treat it. And then the circle begins again.
Why should you care about antibiotic resistance? The CDC explains:
[It] can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous infections, prolonging suffering for children and adults. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to family members, schoolmates, and co-workers, and may threaten your community. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more difficult to kill and more expensive to treat. (CDC)
While the above scenario sounds like something out of the latest zombie movie, antibiotic resistance is a growing problem throughout the global medical community. This is not to say, however, that you should never take an antibiotic. In the case of a bacterial infection or people who have trouble fighting off infections, antibiotics are highly effective if taken correctly.
The question is: If you suffer from chronic sinus infections, either viral or bacterial, do you really want to risk antibiotic resistance when the drug may not even work at all? You probably don’t.
Here at CT Sinus Center, we specialize in alternative treatments that will put an end to your sinus suffering without the risks associated with antibiotics. Known as the leaders in permanent relief, our expert physicians have perfected two procedures that are designed to drain your sinuses and increase airflow through your nasal passages: Balloon Sinus Dilation, in which a small balloon is inflated in the nasal cavity under local anesthesia, and Turbinate Reductions, in which soft tissue is removed during an outpatient surgical process. Both solutions will have you seeing results in as little as one day.
So say goodbye to the never ending antibiotics for sinus infections and hello to our patient-centered, drug free approach. Call us today at (860) BALLOON for your appointment to come in and see what we can do for you.
For more information on all things sinus and allergy, visit the CT Sinus Center website and take a look at our blog.