Our immune system can often fight off infection; however, sometimes our body doesn’t want to co-operate and people need help to fight off the invaders. This is where antibiotics come in. When our immune system can’t destroy bad bacteria, doctors are known to prescribe antibiotics…the problem is, sometimes those antibiotics are useless.
Infections and Antibiotic Use
Twenty percent of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States are written for sinus infections. Antibiotics target bacteria, yet more and more research shows most sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America between 90 and 98 per cent of the infections are created by viruses.
A recent study put the antibiotic Amoxicillin to the test. It turned out that sinus infection patients that took amoxicillin were no better off than those who took a placebo for improving their symptoms.
Doctors say part of the problem is that there is currently no easy test to determine whether a sinus infection is viral or bacterial. They also point out that many patients have come to expect antibiotics to be prescribed.
One in 7 people are diagnosed with a sinus infection every year. Below are some of the common symptoms:
• Blocked nasal passage
• Pain or pressure in nasal passage, eyes and forehead
• Poor sense of taste
• Poor sense of smell
While viruses and bacteria can cause a sinus infection, studies by the famed Mayo Clinic have concluded that chronic sinusitis is often caused by fungus. It can’t be treated with antibiotics either. Thirty-seven million people in the United States suffer from chronic sinusitis.
Negative Impact of Antibiotic Use
Inappropriate use of antibiotics can have a negative impact on our health. Scientists have determined that overuse of antibiotics promotes the development of drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.
The best way to avoid having to deal with a sinus infection or other types of infections that can be difficult to deal with is through preventative steps. A few simple health tips can build up your immune system so that you can avoid illness in the first place.
Here are some health tips to take into consideration…
• Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day
• Avoid sugary, fried and fatty food that will suppress your immune system
• Make sure you are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals
• Consume herbs and spices to assist your immune system
• Exercise 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per week
• Get plenty of rest
Doctors insist that there are times when antibiotics can be life saving, but caution people that over-use or misuse can also be dangerous. The key to good health is prevention and proper diagnosis.