Because I need my voice for my daily radio program, I’ve been quick to use the Z-pack (zithromycin) whenever I get the feeling I have a sinus issue. Evidently that’s been the wrong thing to do.
It turns out that almost 21% of antibiotic prescriptions written in the U.S. for adults are for sinusitis, even though studies show the drugs often do little or no good in the overwhelming majority of cases that begin as viral infections. Less than 2% of those turn into bacterial infections (the kind that CAN be helped by antibiotics) so the American Academy of Otolaryngology suggests that you wait 10 days after the onset of a sinus problem. If you’re still suffering after 10 days, then it’s antibiotic time. Otherwise, saline irrigation, Tylenol, topical steroids and decongestant sprays (used for no more than three days) are the way to go.