When antibiotics backfire
When a cold turns into a sinus infection, most people go to their doctor for a round of antibiotics and some pain medicine. The pain pills are usually helpful, but according to a new study, the antibiotics often don’t help and might even do some harm. When British researchers compared the healing times of 200 people with sinus infections, they found that those who were dosed with antibiotics recovered in the same amount of time as those who were not treated. Exposure to the antibiotics, meanwhile, increases resistance to the drugs, reducing their effectiveness against more dangerous infections. So patients with sinus infections, especially if they seem mild, should not automatically turn to antibiotics, Dr. Ian Williamson tells the Los Angeles Times. “With a little bit of patience,” he said, “the body will usually heal itself.”