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Sinusitis Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Most cases of sinusitis can be treated at home.
  • OTC pain relievers, nasal sprays, fever reducers, and nasal decongestants can help relieve discomfort, fever, and congestion.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • Symptoms last for more than 7–10 days
  • You have signs of a bacterial sinus infection, like fever and intense pain.
See care providers

Emergency Care

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Go to the ER of call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Vision changes
  • Changes in mental status (confusion or delirium)
  • Fever that’s not going down with acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Swelling or change in appearance of your eyes or face

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All treatments for sinusitis
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Read more about sinusitis care options

When to see a healthcare provider

See a healthcare provider if your symptoms don’t improve after about 7 days of home treatment. Also see a provider if you have signs of a bacterial sinus infection, like a fever and intense pain. You may need to take prescription medication to clear the infection and you may need steroid treatment for intense pain.

Getting diagnosed for sinusitis

Your doctor does not need to do any tests to diagnose sinusitis. It is usually based on your symptoms.

If you keep getting sinusitis or have symptoms for 2–3 months, your doctor may order a CT scan of your sinuses to look for signs of a chronic infection.

What to expect from your visit

If OTC medications haven’t helped, you probably need prescription medications.

  • Antibiotics clear up bacterial infections.
  • An inhaled or oral steroid can bring down the swelling in your nose if you have severe pain.
  • If you get sinusitis often or it lasts for several months, you may need to see an otolaryngologist, or ENT surgeon. They may discuss the possibility of sinus surgery.

What medicine to take for sinusitis

What doctor to see for sinusitis

  • Discuss next steps with your primary care provider if symptoms last longer than 7-10 days.
  • An otolaryngologist, or ENT surgeon, specializes in treating conditions of the ear, nose, and throat.
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Frequently asked questions