Sinus Infection (cont.)
Sinus Infection Prevention
Prevention of a sinus infection depends upon its cause.
- Avoid contracting upper respiratory tract infections. Maintain strict
hand washing habits and avoid people who are obviously suffering from a cold
or the flu.
- Obtaining the influenza
vaccination yearly will help to prevent the flu and
subsequent infection of the upper respiratory tract.
- Antiviral medicines to treat the flu, such
as zanamivir (Relenza)
(Flumadine), and amantadine
(Symmetrel), if taken at the onset
of symptoms, may also help to
- In some studies, zinc
carbonate lozenges have been
shown to reduce the duration of many cold symptoms.
- Stress reduction and a diet
rich in antioxidants, especially fresh,
dark-colored fruits and vegetables, may help strengthen the immune system.
- Plan for seasonal allergy
- If sinus infection is caused by seasonal or environmental allergies,
avoiding allergens is very important. If avoidance is not an option, either OTC
or prescription medication may be helpful. OTC antihistamines or decongestant
nasal sprays can be used for an acute attack.
- People who have seasonal allergies may benefit from nonsedating
prescription antihistamines during allergy-season months.
- Avoid spending long periods outdoors during allergy season. Close the
windows to the house and use air conditioning to filter out allergens when
possible. Humidifiers may also be helpful.
- Allergy shots, also called "immunotherapy," may be effective in reducing or eliminating sinusitis due to allergies. Shots are administered by an allergist regularly for 3 to 5 years, but they often offer a reduction to complete remission of allergy symptoms for years.
- Stay hydrated
- Maintain good sinus hygiene by drinking plenty of fluids to keep nasal
- Saline nasal sprays (available at drug stores) help keep the
passages moist, helping remove infectious agents. Inhaling steam from a
bowl of boiling water or in a hot, steamy shower may also help.
- Avoid air travel. If air travel is necessary, use a nasal decongestant
spray prior to departure to keep the sinus passages open and frequently instill
saline nasal spray during the flight.
- Avoid allergens in the environment
- People who suffer from chronic sinusitis should avoid areas and
that may aggravate the condition, such as cigarette smoke,
secondhand smoke, and
diving under water in chlorinated
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