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DrSugar Answers: Sinus Infection Prevention?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.


Dear DrSugar,
My husband gets a sinus infection every year. This year it came early and he took antibiotics after fighting it for two weeks to no avail. Well, it seems to be back in a low grade way and it is making him snore, which keeps me up at night! What can he do to boost his immune system to win the battle going on in his sinuses?
—Sleepless Wife of a Snorer

How quickly cold and flu season has returned to all our lives. If you or one of your loved ones fights sinusitis all Winter long, you can see DrSugar's suggestions for fighting the good fight when you read more.

Sinus infections are very common, especially during cold and flu season. Sinusitis is generally defined as either acute (less than four weeks of symptoms), sub acute (four to 12 weeks of symptoms) and chronic (greater than 12 weeks of symptoms). Acute sinus infections are associated with symptoms such as facial pain, headache, sinus drainage, and fever. Chronic sinusitis symptoms are similar but generally less severe than those of acute sinusitis, and include persistent sinus drainage, chronic facial pain or headaches, and chronic sore throat and/or post-nasal drip. It sounds like your husband had acute sinusitis that developed into sub acute or chronic sinusitis. Inflammation of the sinuses is most commonly caused by viral upper respiratory infections and seasonal sinus allergies. This inflammation can lead to bacterial invasion of the sinuses and irritation of the sinus tissues.

Prevention of sinus infections is aimed at preventing things that cause sinus inflammation, like viral upper respiratory infections and allergies. Preventing viral infections includes simple things like hand washing, reducing stress, avoiding close contact with those with viral illnesses, and eating a well-rounded diet. Treating allergy symptoms with antihistamines can prevent sinus infections by reducing inflammation of the sinuses. Avoiding dry sinuses with the use of saline nasal spray or a humidifier can also improve sinus health. Many ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialists recommend the neti pot at the onset of symptoms or for chronic sinusitis to improve drainage and reduce irritation of the sinuses. Treatment of chronic sinusitis can also include medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroids. Check out our health guide for extensive information on sinusitis.

In the interim, I suggest investing in some quality earplugs so your husband's snoring doesn't interfere with your sleep.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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