Guidelines for sinus infection treatment have changed

Experts: Antibiotics make things worse when treating a sinus infection

DETROIT - Sinus infections effect 45 million Americans and during the fall and winter months an infections can make life miserable.

The next time you go to the doctor for sinus relief, don't be surprised if you leave without a prescription.

Starting this fall, treatment for a sinus infection may change.

"For the vast, vast majority of people we give antibiotics, it's not really providing the benefit that we would have hoped," said Dr. Subinoy Das.

Experts say antibiotic are actually making things worse.

Research finds up to 90-percent of sinus infections are caused by a virus, so antibiotics won't help and the overuse of antibiotics is making some bacteria dangerously drug-resistant.

"We are creating a race of super-bacteria, for which we will not be able to treat," said Das.

New guidelines are in place this fall discouraging doctors from overprescribing antibiotics.

"Seek medical attention early, but go with an open mind that 'I'm not going expecting an antibiotic," said Das.

To treat ordinary sinus infections, many doctors are now recommending salt water rinses.

You can buy a kit at any drug store, just make sure you follow the directions closely, and use distilled or sterilized water, not regular tap water.

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