Sinus Infection (cont.)
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Medications to Reduce Inflammation and Promote Drainage
Blood cells and lining cells of the mucosa in the sinuses can normally fight off foreign invaders. However, when overwhelmed by viruses or bacteria, coupled with a depressed immune system or over-reactivity to allergens, the result is the inflammation associated with sinusitis. With appropriate therapy, a short-lived infection can be treated effectively. Because foreign substances trigger numerous reactions, many treatments are available that can treat the symptoms of inflammation.
Decongestants help reduce airway obstruction and are important in the initial treatment to alleviate symptoms.
Both nasal and oral decongestants have side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, tremor, dry mouth, blurry vision, and headache. They may also cause an inability to urinate. Persons with a history of cardiac disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, or urinary problems (especially prostate disorders) should consult a physician before using decongestants. Combining decongestants with other over-the-counter or prescribed medicines with similar side effects may cause dangerous complications.
Home remedies that open and hydrate the sinuses may promote drainage. See Sinus Infection Home Remedies for information on increasing daily fluid intake, inhaling steam, taking expectorants and pain relievers, and nasal saline irrigation.
If environmental allergies cause the sinusitis, an antihistamine may help reduce swelling of the mucous membranes. Allergens stimulate white blood cells in the blood and tissues to release histamine into the circulation. This causes fluid to leak from blood vessels into the tissues of the nasal passageways, leading to nasal congestion symptoms.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2014
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