Sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, are a common condition affecting millions of people each year. They occur when the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen. This often leads to congestion, facial pain and pressure, and nasal discharge. While sinus infections usually clear up on their own, medications like Flonase can provide relief from symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore using Flonase to treat sinus infections, including how it works, proper usage, and its effectiveness.
Understanding Sinus Infection
Sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses, which are air-filled pockets located around the nasal cavity and eyes. When the sinuses become inflamed due to a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, the resulting swelling can obstruct mucus drainage. This causes mucus to build up, leading to congestion and facial pain.
The sinuses most commonly affected are the maxillary sinuses located beneath the eyes, the ethmoid sinuses between the eyes, and the frontal sinuses in the forehead. Less commonly, sphenoid sinuses behind the ethmoids may be involved.
Some key symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
Chronic sinusitis occurs when symptoms persist for 12 weeks or longer. This is often due to underlying medical conditions or structural issues in the nose. Treatment typically requires more aggressive long-term management.
Does Flonase Help With A Sinus Infection?
Flonase (fluticasone propionate) belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works as a nasal spray to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages caused by sinusitis.
Flonase helps to improve sinus infection symptoms by:
– Reducing inflamed, swollen sinus membranes
– Opening up congested nasal airways
– Allowing mucus drainage and clearing of infection
– Relieving pain and pressure in the face and head
Numerous studies have shown corticosteroid nasal sprays like Flonase improve overall symptom scores in acute bacterial sinusitis. Improvements were seen in facial pain/pressure, headache, purulent discharge, and nasal obstruction.
So in summary, Flonase can be an effective option for getting relief from the common symptoms caused by sinus infections. It helps treat the root inflammatory cause rather than just masking symptoms.
How To Use Flonase For Sinus Infection
Flonase is available as a nasal spray that is sprayed into each nostril. The standard adult dosage for sinusitis is 2 sprays per nostril once daily. It’s recommended to use it every day during the infection, and then continue for 7-14 days after symptoms subside to prevent recurrence.
Here are some tips for the proper use of Flonase spray:
- First, blow your nose gently to clear your nostrils before use.
- Shake the container well before each use.
- Tilt head forward slightly and insert spray tip into nostril. Point it toward the back and outer side of the nose.
- Press down on the pump to release the spray while breathing in gently through the nose.
- Repeat the spray in the other nostril. Avoid spraying directly onto the nasal septum (the wall dividing nostrils).
- Try not to blow your nose or sniff deeply for the next few minutes to prevent the medication from coming out.
- Clean spray tip regularly as recommended.
- Prime pump as needed if it has not been used for several days.
Potential side effects are generally mild but may include headaches, nosebleeds, or nasal/throat irritation. Flushing or an unpleasant taste is also possible immediately after use. It’s also not recommended for anyone with nasal/fungal infections or allergies to ingredients.
In summary, Flonase can be a useful addition to treatment when dealing with inflamed, congested sinuses from a sinus infection. Its corticosteroid medication works directly on swollen nasal membranes to open blockages and facilitate mucus drainage. While not a cure on its own, Flonase is clinically proven to relieve major symptoms like facial pain, congestion, and headache. Along with rest, hydration, and possibly antibiotics, Flonase can help get you on the road to recovery when struck with unpleasant sinusitis.
A: Flonase may begin working within 12 hours, but it can take several days of regular use to feel the full effects of sinus infection symptoms. It reaches peak effectiveness after about 2 weeks.
A: Yes, you can safely use Flonase with antibiotics like amoxicillin or Augmentin to treat a bacterial sinus infection. The antibiotics fight the bacteria while Flonase treats the inflammation and congestion.
A: Flonase can be used for chronic sinusitis along with nasal saline irrigation. Long-term use is considered safe and often necessary to manage inflammation in chronic sinus disease.
A: Afrin (oxymetazoline) works faster but is only meant for short-term use. It can cause rebound congestion. Flonase is slower-acting but safer for regular use in treating chronic sinusitis. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect, unlike Afrin.
A: Yes, Flonase is considered safe to use during pregnancy. It’s a category C drug, meaning animal studies show no risk, but robust human studies are lacking. Still, the benefits often outweigh any theoretical risks. Consult your OB-GYN to be safe.