Antibiotic alternatives: See the choices

3:48 AM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- John Tilley took antibiotics for five years to treat chronic sinusitis. They never worked because he never needed them, he needed surgery.

"It was pretty much reconstructing my left sinuses," John says.

Antibiotic overuse by prescription and in our food caused a new generation of resistant germs that can be deadly. Next time, don't expect your doctor to prescribe them and, if they do, ask if you really need them. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Tanya Edwards, of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine, says it's important to first boost your immune system naturally.

"Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and getting exercise is really important to making sure your immune system is working as it should," Dr. Edwards says.

She adds that you and your kids should be getting enough Vitamin D.

"Vitamin D is overwhelmingly important for the natural function of your immune system."

She recommends taking probiotics in pill or yogurt form. It contains good bacteria that can help keep your system in check.

Pure cranberry juice can aid in preventing urinary tract infections and the herb Goldenseal is also a bacteria fighter and immunity booster.

But seek medical care if natural remedies aren't working.

"If after 24 hours your symptoms are getting worse instead of better or you're running a fever, you need to get in to see your doctor," Dr. Edwards says.

New guidelines show antibiotics are not as effective for kids with ear infections. But if the child is listless, that's cause for concern.

"It's the kids that fight me when I'm trying to look in their ears that are fine it's the ones that don't fight me I worry about," says Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Frank Esper.

Dr. Edwards says treat the pain of the ear infection with over-the-counter remedies, such as Children's Tylenol or Motrin.

WKYC-TV

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