COLUMBUS -- If you are one of 45 million Americans who suffer from sinus infections this time of year, your treatment option may be changing.
Scientists say a new breed of super bug is developing and it's forcing some changes in the way sinus infections are treated.
Stephanie Santino dreads this time of year because it's when sinus infections invade her life.
"There were times where just literally sitting upright that pain of holding your head upright was just really intense," Stephanie says.
Like most people, every time she went to the doctor for treatment, she came home with antibiotics. But starting this season, expect that to change.
"For the vast majority of people we give antibiotics, it's not really providing the benefit that we would have hoped," says Dr. Subinoy Das, a sinus expert at Ohio State University.
He says up to 90 percent of sinus infections are caused by a virus and can't be killed with antibiotics, but since doctors have been prescribing them for decades, now some bacteria are becoming dangerously drug resistant.
"We are creating a race of super bacteria for which we will not be able to treat," Dr. Das says.
To avoid that, new guidelines are in place discouraging doctors from over prescribing antibiotics. Dr. Das suggests trying an over-the-counter salt water rinse which can be very effective. However, if your face swells, you have a high fever or vision changes, seek medical care.
Sinus infections are the most common chronic disease in people between ages 18 and 45 but only a small percentage can be treated with antibiotics. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter remedies that may help.
Media Source contributed to the content of this story.