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A NOTE FROM OUR NURSE ~ December 2018

 
 

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

 

 

A sinus infection (sinusitis) does not typically need to be treated with antibiotics in order to get better. If you or your child is diagnosed with a sinus infection, your healthcare professional can decide if
antibiotics are needed.

Sinus infections occur when fluid is trapped or blocked in the sinuses, allowing germs to grow. Sinus
infections are usually (9 out of 10 cases in adults; 5-7 out of 10 cases in children) caused by a virus. They
are less commonly (1 out of 10 cases in adults; 3-5 out of 10 cases in children) caused by bacteria.
Common signs and symptoms of a sinus infection include: headache, stuffy or runny nose, loss of the
sense of smell, facial pain or pressure, postnasal drip (mucous drips down the throat from the nose), sore
throat, fever, coughing, fatigue and bad breath.

See a healthcare professional if you or your child has any of the following: temperature higher than 100.4,
symptoms that are getting worse or last more than 10 days, multiple sinus infections in the past year or
symptoms that are not relieved with over-the-counter medicines.

Antibiotics may be needed if the sinus infection is likely to be caused by bacteria. Antibiotics will not help
a sinus infection caused by a virus. If symptoms continue for more than 10 days, schedule a follow-up
appointment with your healthcare professional for re-evaluation.

Rest, over-the-counter medicines and other self-care methods may help you or your child feel better.
Always use over-the-counter products as directed since many over-the-counter products are not
recommended for children of certain ages.

There are several steps you can take to help prevent a sinus infection, including:
? Practice good hand washing
? Keep you and your child up to date with recommended immunizations
? Avoid close contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections
? Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
? Use a clean humidifier to moisten the air at home

Susan Quigley, RN, NCSN

December 2018 Tiger Times