Medical therapy for chronic sinusitis and chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps typically involves physicians prescribing antibiotics to treat infection and/or oral or nasal steroids and medication to treat inflammation.1 It can sometimes involve over-the-counter remedies, such as decongestants to shrink blood vessels and tissues and decrease mucus production or fast-acting nasal sprays. These methods can only manage symptoms and are not intended for long-term use.2,3 Antihistamines aren’t recommended unless prescribed by your doctor, as they can dry out the lining of the nose and thicken mucus.2,3
Nasal steroids like sprays are made to treat the nasal pathway. Oral steroids are taken by mouth – both are widely prescribed for chronic sinusitis to reduce inflammation. However, nasal steroid sprays are ineffective at delivering the medicine to the sinuses.3 While oral steroids can be effective for chronic sinusitis, physicians prescribe them sparingly due to potential side effects.1,3
Antibiotics can be effective to treat inflamed sinuses, but it might take more than one course of treatment. Only bacterial sinusitis will benefit from antibiotics and they are not effective for chronic sinusitis that stems from a virus, fungus, or physical causes such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum.1,3
Decongestants, both oral and nasal, help to shrink the blood vessels in the nasal membranes and allow the air passages to open up. Allergies and upper respiratory infections, such as a cold, share similar symptoms.
Antihistamines are more commonly used in acute sinusitis. Because they dry up and thicken the mucus in the nose, they haven’t been shown to have a positive effect in chronic sinusitis.3
A stent is a non-surgical medical management option for treating chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps, designed to deliver anti-inflammatory medication directly to the nasal polyps for up to 3 months. This treatment is an in-office alternative to repeat sinus surgery for nasal polyps.4
Biologics are medicines produced from parts of living organisms, such as cells or proteins, that target and suppress specific sources of inflammation in the immune system. Biologics can be expensive and generally require lifelong injections every 2 weeks.5
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.