Chronic Sinus Infection Treatments
People suffering from chronic sinusitis often seek relief from home remedies, many of which can be found online, or physicians may prescribe antibiotics, nasal steroid sprays or oral steroids
Managing Chronic Sinusitis with Medical Therapy
When the sinus openings are inflamed, the blockage can cause infection. In these cases, antibiotics can be effective, but it might take more than one course of treatment.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends careful use of antibiotics and “watchful waiting” since only bacterial sinusitis will benefit from antibiotics.1 If chronic sinusitis stems from a virus, fungus, or physical causes such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum, antibiotic therapy won’t work.1– +
Nasal Steroid SpraysFlonase® or Nasonex®
Nasal steroid sprays are widely prescribed for chronic sinusitis. They are actually indicated for rhinitis or inflammation of the nose—not chronic sinusitis.
Because nasal steroid sprays are made to treat the nasal pathway, they are ineffective at delivering the medicine to the sinuses. In fact, less than 2% of the steroid reaches the sinuses and this is reduced even further if the sinuses are blocked.1– +
Oral steroidsPrednisone or Medrol Dosepak
Oral steroids, such as prednisone, are prescribed to reduce inflammation. While they can be effective for chronic sinusitis, physicians prescribe them sparingly due to potential side effects.
Oral steroids may cause mood and appetite changes, bone loss, make it difficult to control blood glucose levels for people with diabetes, and cause sleeplessness.3– +
The decongestant effect is due to the constriction of blood vessels in the nose, which increases blood pressure, reduces swelling or inflammation and mucus formation in the nasal passage and makes it easier to breathe.
Decongestants are chemically related to adrenaline, the natural decongestant, which is also a type of stimulant. Therefore, a potential side effect of decongestants taken as a pill or liquid may be a jittery or nervous feeling, causing difficulty in going to sleep and elevating blood pressure and pulse rate.– +
Decongestants help to shrink the blood vessels in the nasal membranes and allow the air passages to open up. Some decongestants are available over the counter in nasal spray form. This method of medication delivery usually brings immediate relief to the nasal membranes without the usual side effects that accompany pills that you swallow and metabolize through the body.3
Over-the-counter decongestant nose sprays should be reserved for short-term use because repetitive use may lead to lack of effectiveness and return of congestion, and often leads to the urge to use more sprays more frequently.– +
AntihistaminesAllegra®, Benadryl® or Claritin®
Antihistamine drugs block the action of histamine—a compound responsible for congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and itching. For the best results, antihistamines are recommended to be taken before allergic symptoms get well established, but they can also be very effective if taken after the onset of symptoms.– +
Home Remedies for Chronic Sinus Infections
Squeeze Bottle or a Neti Pot
One popular home remedy is saline nasal irrigation with a squeeze bottle or a Neti pot. Neti pots are small pitcher-type devices that you fill with saline solution to irrigate the nasal passages. The saline solution helps to moisten the pathways, flush out dirt and allergens and reduce inflammation.1– +
Over-The-Counter Saline Spray
Another home remedy is over-the-counter saline spray, which moistens the nasal pathways. Be aware that home remedies for chronic sinusitis can sometimes relieve the symptoms, but do not address the underlying cause. Many physicians recommend the nasal irrigation and nasal saline sprays in addition to other treatments. Nasal irrigation also plays an important role in healing after sinus surgery.– +
Why find an ENT physician ?
If you suffer from chronic sinus infections, you may need to see an ENT physician, who is also called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or an otolaryngologist. These specialized physicians are experts in both the medical and surgical management of chronic sinusitis.
Intersect ENT makes information available about physicians and facilities that offer the PROPEL® mometasone furoate sinus implant. Physicians and facilities are listed based upon proximity to the zip code you have entered.
Learn More About Sinusitis
Sinusitis is a complex and frustrating disease. But learning about the causes, symptoms and treatments available can help you find the solution that is best for you.
December 05th, 2017
Breathing is fundamental and usually automatic. If you’re doing it right, you don’t notice it. If your breathing goes wrong,
November 24th, 2017
When sinus conditions occur, there are different topical treatments, or therapies that can be applied directly to the affected area
1. AAO-HNSF Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines: Adult Sinusitis April 2015.
2. 2013 Möller (2013) Topical drug delivery pre and post FESS. PLoS ONE. 8(9): e74991. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074991
3. Harding M. Decongestants. Patient website. https://patient.info/health/decongestants. September 14, 2015. Accessed May 11, 2017.
The purpose of the site is to help create awareness about sinusitis and treatment options for the disease. Please note that information contained on this site is not medical advice. It should not be used as a substitute for speaking with your physician. Always talk with your physician about diagnosis and treatment information.
The PROPEL sinus implants are intended for use after sinus surgery to maintain patency and to locally deliver steroids to the sinus mucosa: PROPEL for use in the ethmoid sinus, PROPEL Mini for use in the ethmoid sinus and frontal sinus opening, and PROPEL Contour for use in the frontal and maxillary sinus ostia. The implants are intended for use in patients ≥18 years of age. Contraindications include patients with intolerance to mometasone furoate (MF) or a hypersensitivity to bioabsorbable polymers. Safety and effectiveness of the implants in pregnant or nursing females have not been studied. Risks may include, but are not limited to, pain/pressure, displacement of implant, possible side effects of intranasal MF, sinusitis, epistaxis, and infection. For complete prescribing information see IFU at www.IntersectENT.com. Rx only.