Doctors are getting it wrong when treating people with sinusitis. Around 90 per cent of sinusitis sufferers in the UK and the US are prescribed an antibiotic or a nasal spray - but a new study has discovered that neither therapy helps get rid of the problem.
Patients who are given the antibiotic amoxicillin or a topical corticosteroid such as budesonide report that their sinusitis clears on average after 10 days - the exact time it takes for someone given a placebo, or sugar pill.
The problem is, say researchers, that doctors are not recognising that a virus is usually causing the problem, for which antibiotics are useless.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 298: 2487-96).