ANCHOR LEAD: SINUS INFECTIONS CONTINUE TO BE TREATED WITH ANTIBIOTICS INAPPROPRIATELY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The majority of sinus infections are still treated with antibiotics, even though such treatment will not eliminate viral infections, which cause most sinusitis, and may promote the development of antibiotic resistant organisms, a recent study reported. Andrew Lane, a sinus expert at Johns Hopkins, says these infections are especially difficult to decide how to treat.
LANE: What the tendency is is we let people go a week, ten days, with just observation, maybe with decongestants, steam, the usual home remedies for a cold, and if they’re not getting any better, or especially if they’re getting worse, the next step is to add antibiotics, and I think that’s an accepted practice, but what we’ll never know is would they have gotten better anyway, and was it even a bacterial infection? :21
Lane says prolonged viral infections of the sinuses may allow bacteria that already reside there to proliferate and make the infection worse, a so called opportunistic infection. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting..