Sinusitis is the term for inflammation or swelling of your sinuses, and it is incredibly common. It causes fluid buildup and blockages in your sinuses, and is often connected with a variety of conditions, such as colds, flu, and seasonal allergies. Children and adults both experience the symptoms, however, the signs of sinusitis may vary between them.
To better understand what symptoms to look for in kids, let’s explore the causes of sinusitis, the symptoms found in children, and what treatment options are available. Parents living in the Lake Oswego, Oregon, area looking to get treatment for their child’s sinusitis can find help with the team of doctors at Lake Grove ENT. Our team of ear, nose, and throat specialists have a combined 85 years of experience helping patients get better with state of the art equipment and a range of in office treatments.
Your sinuses are made up of four cavities in the front of your head that are connected by narrow channels. They are responsible for making the thin mucus that drains out of your nose, which helps to keep your nose clean. With sinusitis, the areas in your sinuses that are usually filled with air get filled with fluid that can lead to blockage, making it harder to breathe through your nose.
As mentioned above, common causes of these conditions include colds, flu, and seasonal allergies, but there are a variety of other factors leading to sinusitis, including polyps, a weak immune system from medications or illness, and a deviated septum.
Children’s sinuses are still developing into their late teen years, and in their first few years, they are very prone to infection in the nose, sinuses, and ears. Unlike adults, when children experience this illness it will present with symptoms like coughing, bad breath, crankiness, fatigue, swelling around the eyes, and thick yellow green nasal or post nasal drip. They may also have a low- or high-grade fever, and children six or older often experience headaches.
If your child is dealing with this for 10 days or less and the illness isn’t getting any worse, it is likely acute sinusitis. Prolonged inflammation of your child’s sinuses can lead to chronic sinusitis, which can last 12 weeks or longer.
Treating sinusitis depends on a number of factors, including cause and severity. The acute version of this illness is often treated with antibiotics, nasal corticosteroid sprays, or nasal saline drops (a saltwater solution). Over-the-counter treatments are not useful for viral upper respiratory infections that can cause sinusitis and shouldn’t be given to children under two. With treatment, symptoms should improve within a few days and improve significantly in the first week.
The chronic version of this illness can be treated with similar methods, medications that cover fungal, allergic, polyps or other causes, and sinus surgery but only if absolutely necessary.
Regardless of the cause, knowing what sinusitis signs to look for can help get your child medical treatment quickly. If you think your child is dealing with these symptoms, contact the medical team at Lake Grove ENT today.