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Treatment of Sinusitis

Medications are first-line treatment for chronic sinusitis. Both over the counter and prescription medications are available and effective in many cases.

  • Over-the-counter:
  • Decongestant tablets or sprays*
  • Saline sprays or rinses
  • Mucus thinning agents (guaifenesin)

*Important note about decongestant nasal sprays: Use for more than 2-3 days is not recommended due to the risk of bothersome rebound congestion.


  • Nasal steroid sprays
  • Oral steroids (prednisone, medrol dosepak, etc)
  • Antibiotics

Studies have demonstrated that chronic sinusitis leads to a significant reduction in quality of life, comparable to diseases like chronic lung disease, chronic back pain, angina (chest pain), and congestive heart failure. Fortunately, appropriate treatment of disease has been shown to result in meaningful improvements in quality of life in the majority of patients. Therefore, patients should try to commit to a treatment regimen to help maintain maximum control of symptoms. If medications fail to result in enough improvement, sinus surgery may be indicated.

Medical therapy is important to continue even if surgery has also been recommended. Chronic sinusitis can be compared to diseases like diabetes and hypertension, in which ongoing treatment is required to keep the blood sugar or blood pressure under control, but stopping the medications results in recurrence.

Treatment of chronic sinusitis is individualized to each specific patient depending on the symptoms and findings of evaluation. Dr. Bhandarkar is an expert in treatment of sinusitis and can help determine what treatments would be most beneficial to you.