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Frequent sinus infections can be a difficult problem to treat because they are not always caused by bacteria and frequent use of antibiotics can encourage antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to form. There are ways you can start focusing on prevention to reduce the number of sinus infections you experience.
Use Nasal Irrigation
The idea of nasal irrigation is often intimidating, but it is an easy and inexpensive way to help keep your sinuses clear. Part of the reason you may be experiencing frequent sinus infections is that allergens and bacteria become stuck in your sinuses. When done correctly, nasal irrigation can keep your nasal passages hydrated with a saline solution. This reduces swelling of nasal tissues that is often the real cause of sinus congestion.
If you want to try nasal irrigation, start on a day when your nose is clear and you do not have an infection. You cannot successfully irrigate your nose when you are experiencing inflammation and/or congestion and you may push bacteria further into your sinuses. Purchase distilled water you can use specifically for irrigating your nose. You never want to use tap water, unless it has been boiled and cooled to room temperature first.
Only use the salt packets made specifically for nasal irrigation. They help you achieve the proper balance of salt to water. Otherwise, too little or too much salt will cause intense burning. Make sure the squeeze bottle or pot you use stays properly cleaned and is thoroughly dried out between uses. You do not want to risk introducing bacteria or mold into your sinuses.
Ask For Nasal Steroids
You and your doctor can discuss the use of long-term nasal steroids which are designed to reduce swelling and inflammation in your nasal passage. Nasal steroids are available as a nasal spray and are sometimes combined with antihistamines. You may want to consider using nasal steroids if you frequently use over-the-counter (OTC) nasal decongestants. Since the rebound effect of OTC decongestants can make sinus congestion and pressure worse, you need a long-term solution to reduce your risk of sinus infections.
Consult A Specialist
An otolaryngologist (ENT) is one of the best resources for finding an effective long-term solution to recurrent sinus infections. You may need to have different tests performed to visualize your nasal passages and determine if there are any obstructions preventing proper sinus drainage. Another problem that can lead to recurrent sinus infections are enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids. An ENT might suggest for you to have your tonsils and adenoids removed, especially if they are enlarged and remain enlarged into adulthood. When your tonsils and adenoids are enlarged, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, especially when you have post-nasal drip.
Recurrent sinus infections can become a serious problem. Instead of treating infections when they occur, seek out preventative measures to help keep your sinuses clear. Contact a clinic like Asthma And Allergy Center for more information.