Sinus Medicine: FSA Eligibility
What is sinus medicine?
Sinus medicine encompasses a wide range of decongestants, pain relievers and other medications that are designed to treat the symptoms of acute sinusitis, known also as a sinus infection. A sinus infection is a condition in which the nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed, and this is usually a result of a virus like the common cold, but it can also arise from the presence of fungus or bacteria as well. Even after an illness has cleared, the symptoms of a sinus infection can linger for days or weeks afterward (WebMD).
There is no direct cure for sinus infections, and while they may occur chronically and may require further medical attention, managing symptoms is the best that acute sinusitis sufferers can hope for if the condition occurs. The most common forms of sinus medicine include:
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines are typically used to treat allergies, but these medications can also treat the vast majority of sinus infection symptoms as well. Antihistamines combined with a decongestant ingredient can ease the runny nose and sneezing that is associated with sinus infections, as well as limiting the body's production of histamine that can bring about increased inflammation and congestion. However, antihistamines have the side effect of drowsiness, so users should be mindful of this before taking these medications during daytime hours (Healthline).
- Analgesics: Sinus infections have the unfortunate side effect of creating pain, tenderness and swelling around the cheeks, nose and forehead as a result of sinus pressure. Additionally, this pressure can cause additional maladies like earaches, headaches and other forms of discomfort, which is why many medical professionals prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. This will not control nasal congestion, but can dramatically limit the pain experienced by sinus infection sufferers (Drugs.com).
- Nasal Irrigation: Nasal congestion is among the most difficult symptoms to control during a sinus infection, but nasal irrigation with a product like a Neti Pot can provide relief to swollen nasal passages. Individuals who use neti pots typically utilize a nasal saline solution that mixes salt and warm water to flush out these passageways and improve breathing (WebMD). Because nasal irrigation products aren't drugs, they do not require a prescription for reimbursement.