New guidelines published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) caution doctors against prescribing antibiotics for sinus infections, saying the vast majority are viral in origin.
Almost one in seven people are diagnosed with a sinus infection every year. Older people may be more vulnerable because of the changing physiology of their noses, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. The new guidelines, published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, estimate that between 90 and 98 per cent of all sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and therefore are not helped with antibiotic prescriptions.
Anthony W. Chow et al. "IDSA Clinical Practice Guideline for Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis in Children and Adults."Clin Infect Dis. (2012) doi: 10.1093/cid/cir1043.