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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Sinus infection and antibiotics



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


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