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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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my docter is booked up and i have i guess a cold or sinus

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my docter is booked up and i have i guess a cold or sinus ears have fluid it feels like and my nose is stopped up and runny and my throat is alittle sore from the drainage i guess. and my tonsil feel just alittle swollen..and a the past i have gotten sinus infections.but this time my ears feel full and the nose is stopped up on one side.i just got back from tn.and it seems since i came from the mountains i got like this..but my sister had a pack of azithromycin 250mg.but one tablet is gone and it says its a 5 day dose pack.i took two yesterday..but it says it expires on september you think these will help any until i get to doctor?or should i take the fish mox forte i have...alot of people take these becasue on the back it says all it is amoxicallian which do you think would help the most with what i have going on?also was it okay to put some swimmers ear drops in my ears?but it didnt seem to work..they are clogged still.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.

How long have you had these symptoms?
Do you have a fever?
Do you have any chronic health problems?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it started tuesday nite..i dont seem to have a fever it says it is 97.9 .i have no health problems and not on any meds.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Ok, thank you for the additional information.

To be completely honest with you, it is most likely that you have a viral infection.
Antibiotics are not necessary at this point and can even promote bacterial resistance when taken unnecessarily.
We will typically recommend antibiotics if symptoms last longer than 10 days or if fever is present along with severe facial pain/jaw pain or an ear infection is present.

I would hold off on the antibiotics for now.

The ear congestion may be due to fluid buildup secondary to the cold. Fluid builds up when there is swelling around the eustachian tube.
The swelling prevents the eustachian tube from equalizing the pressure in the middle ear, which can lead to fluid.

This can last for several weeks. As long as you are not having significant pain (ie you only feel fullness and pressure), try using a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine.
If this does not help, your doctor can add on a steroid nasal spray.

You can also try using Afrin nasal spray for 2 days (no longer than this or your nose may become worse with congestion).

I hope that you feel better,

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Also, the swimmer's ear drops really won't do anything for the clogged ear as the problem is behind the ear drum.

It won't hurt that you used the drops. I don't recommend continuing them, though.

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
wow thats a first i have been told not to use a antibiotic..what about the swelling of the tonsils?oh i forgot i ahve taken a degonestant yesterday and this morning but nothing has helped the ears or the nose.i even tried nasal wash.well the fluid feeling in the ears has been there alittle longer then the rest jsut not as bad..maybe about 2 weeks..i seem to keep allergy and sinus problems..i also have chronic dry eye.that i use allergy drops and moisture drops..he said i have year around allergy sinus problems..the swelling in the tonsils hurt alittle i feel worse today then yesterday..i do not believe in that afrin..that stuff burns..i usually use prescription nasonex but am what is your appion anyway on the fishmox 500mg.jsut curious for future use.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Fish mox theoretically could be used but is not exactly the same as human amoxicillin.
Because of this, there is a higher chance of side effects.
I personally do not recommend its use.

If antibiotics are necessary, they should be prescribed after being seen by a physician.
Bacterial resistance is a huge problem (ie MRSA) today and is a result of overzealous use of antibiotics for viral infections.

In adults, the majority of sore throats is due to a virus also.
Strep throat, which is the predominant bacterial cause of a sore throat, is suspected only if there is pus on the tonsils, fever is present, tender swollen lymph nodes are present AND there is no cough.

Otherwise, it is more likely to be viral or due to postnasal drainage.

The ear plugging is a difficult symptom to treat. Decongestants and nasal sprays do not always work well. The fluid can last up to 1-2 months.

I stand by my recommendation to hold off on the antibiotics after only having sinus congestion for three days. It is either viral or allergy related.

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
oh okay..that is true about the viral thing..that makes sense..but why do so many i have talked to use these fishmox?and why does it say on the back that it is 500mg of amoxicillian?it wont hurt you if you take them will it? i use it in the fish tank but my friends use it for sinus infections and they seem to be okay i was just curious..and why do so many doctors give antibiotics for these symptoms if it is viral?i also take as my daily vit.routine a probiotic acidphlius is that okay to take
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Yes, the daily vitamin and acidophilus are fine to take.

As for the antibiotics and why doctors give them--I think that some give them because they feel that they need to give them in order to satisfy their patients--when patients come in, they expect to get antibiotics. Some are too busy to explain why they are not necessary.

Fish mox is amoxicillin but it is not as refined as the antibiotic used for human consumption. It does not adhere to FDA regulations and therefore it cannot be presumed safe like human medications are.

That is why I do not personally recommend that people take it.

Dr Abby

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