The treatment of “sinus infection” depends upon the type of infection:
- Acute viral rhinosinusitis (also known as the common cold) will improve with simple supportive measures, including rest, acetaminophen (for the discomfort), and pseudoephedrine (for relief of nasal congestion). Even with no treatment, this condition will improve over a few days.
- Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, which may develop after acute viral rhinosinusitis in about 2-5% of cases, typically receives treatment with a short course of antibiotics. Often topical nasal steroids, oral decongestants, and acetaminophen are used, too.
- Chronic rhinosinusitis, a separate condition, is most commonly treated with longer courses of oral antibiotics and topical nasal steroids. Some patients will receive oral steroids as well. If the condition does not improve, a CT scan is indicated, and some patients will need sinus surgery.