A growing alarm has alerted many millions of Americans to the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics. These days a number of journalistic outlets have begun covering the problem in some depth, and a few of them rightly single out ENTs who reflexively reach for the pad immediately for any number of upper respiratory issues:
As Consumer Reports says:
[A] second poll we conducted in June of 223 people who received a new antibiotic prescription in the past year showed Americans are being prescribed antibiotics inappropriately for illnesses against which the drugs either don’t work or may not be the best treatment, such as sinus infections (12 percent), as a precaution after medical or dental surgery (11 percent), coughs or colds (8 percent), and abnormal urinary symptoms (7 percent).
This is a problem for many reasons, but foremost on the list is the fact that these particular ailments rarely even benefit from the use of antibiotics:
Case in point: sinusitis and bronchitis are usually viral. And even when bacteria are the cause, mild sinus and bronchial infections often clear up in about a week on their own.
Resistance is inevitable; this was known at the advent of antibiotics. But we needn’t hasten its progress by giving superbugs ample opportunities to flourish where no real risk exists.
For competent and conservative care from a Los Angeles ENT, please don’t hesitate to contact my practice today.