New Guidelines Recommend Avoiding Antibiotics As Treatment For Sinus Infections

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Dr. Babak Larian, Beverly Hills sinus expert, discusses the use of antibiotics for the treatment of sinus infections.

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The downside of Benadryl and antihistamines during a time when you have mucus buildup is that they make the mucus thicker, so it has a harder time getting out of the sinus

According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) 90% to 98% of sinus infections are caused by viruses, which cannot be cured with antibiotics. To make matters worse, inappropriate use of antibiotics also fosters the development of drug-resistant superbugs. As a result, IDSA has now changed their guidelines in regards to the usage of the drug. 

"Most people do not necessarily need antibiotics; they need to open their sinuses. You can use antibiotics, but the drug will not open the sinus on its own. They just kill the bacteria that is in the fluid,” says Beverly Hills otolaryngologist Dr. Babak Larian.  

The new guidelines also suggest people with sinus infections should avoid antihistamines, as they can make matters worse. 

"The downside of Benadryl and antihistamines during a time when you have mucus buildup is that they make the mucus thicker, so it has a harder time getting out of the sinus," says Dr. Larian. 

Tylenol and ibuprofen, along with decongestants that allow the sinuses to open and drain, can be taken to reduce sinus infection symptoms. Nasal saline irrigation might also help as a preventative measure, as it has been proven to be beneficial in reducing the need for antibiotics in people who are prone to sinus infection. 

Dr. Babak Larian, the Chairman and the Director of the CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery in Los Angeles, is a highly experienced and reputable board-certified surgeon, specializing in ear, nose and throat surgery. Dr. Larian is nationally renowned for his expertise in minimally invasive surgery techniques in the treatment of sinus, thyroid, parathyroid, salivary glands and throat disorders. Visit http://www.LarianMD.com for more information.

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