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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Sinus infection and antibiotics

03/02/1999

Question:

Can a sinus infection go away on it's own without the use of antibiotics,and what are it's symtoms?

Answer:

Can sinus infections go away on their own? Yes they can. In fact, most viral sinus infections (colds) are completely self-limited and resolve after 10 to 14 days without any intervention whatsoever. When a `cold` hangs around for more than 10 to 14 days, it is usually now a bacterial sinus infection. While these can resolve without any antibiotic treatment, they often don't. That is why we tend to treat these infections with antibiotics.

The common symptoms of a sinus infection are as follows: often occurring following a cold; thick green or yellow nasal drainage; headache in forehead, behind eyes or in cheeks; occasionally pain in upper molar teeth; occasionally fever; nocturnal cough (especially in children).

I hope this has been helpful.

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Response by:

Thomas A Tami, MD Thomas A Tami, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati