If your sinusitis is caused by bacteria or other related infectious organisms like fungi and parasites, doctor-prescribed antibiotics are helpful. It is recommended for you to see a doctor and have your sinusitis checked so that the most appropriate antibiotic may be given. Physicians consider several factors before choosing an antibiotic. These factors include the type of bacteria causing the infection, potential resistance of the bacteria, results of sinus culture (if available) and patient allergies.
Oral decongestants minimize swelling of the mucus membrane in the nose and sinuses by constricting your blood vessels and reducing the blood flow to nasal mucus membranes. Such treatment primarily helps in the symptoms of stuffy nose. However, the use of decongestants may be accompanied by side effects. See a doctor before taking these.
As the name suggests, physicians may prescribe this kind of drug for treatment of acute sinusitis. Mucus-thinning drugs, also known as mucolytic agents, work by loosening and clearing up the airways by dissolving thick mucus. These are available in tablet or inhaled form. The inhaled form is taken through a nebulizer.
Nasal steroids are helpful in reducing sinus swelling, mucus production and nasal congestion. An ideal nasal steroid should be easily administered and must be directed into the nose. It should not be harmful to the nasal mucus membrane and it should be compatible with normal nasal functions. As with all the other treatments, patients should always consult their doctors first.
Nasal Saline Washes
Washing the nose is highly effective in reducing colonization of the nose by bacteria and fungi. It also cleans dried mucus from the nose. You can do nose washing by using an irrigator or a bulb syringe filled with saline solution. The device is then placed within the nostril without occluding the nose and is directed towards the inner margin of the eye. The head is leaned over a sink so the irrigator could passively drain from the nose or mouth. If done properly, there should be no pain in doing the whole procedure.
The length of time for sinus treatment is variable. For acute sinusitis, it usually lasts 10 to 14 days. Some doctors however, recommend treatments for as little as 3 days. If you have chronic sinusitis, treatment duration could be longer, usually lasting from 4 weeks up to 12 weeks.
Another procedure that has offered new hope, most especially for chronic sinusitis sufferers, is called balloon sinuplasty. With the patient under a general anesthetic, doctors thread a guide wire equipped with a tiny balloon into the nostrils and up to the blockage. They then inflate the balloon about a quarter of an inch - just enough to open the passageway. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. After the sinuplasty, the sinus openings become significantly wider. In most cases, they stay that way, because the balloon has actually fractured the bones and spread them apart.