Children come down with little bugs or illnesses all the time. Oftentimes, their symptoms resolve themselves in a few days. However, if your child has been dealing with nasal congestion, a runny nose and sinus pain for over a week, they may have a sinus infection, otherwise known as sinusitis.
Let’s examine the signs of sinus infections in children, as well as their treatment options.
Sinus Infection Symptoms in Children
Sinus infections are an inflammation of the sinuses that often occur because of a cold or virus spreading to the sinuses from the upper respiratory tract. Research shows that “approximately 6% to 7% of children presenting with respiratory symptoms have acute sinusitis.”
Common symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Pain or tenderness around the sinuses
- Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of smell
Three Types of Sinusitis
Sinusitis can be broken down into three types depending on the length and frequency of symptoms.
- Acute: Lasts less than 12 weeks and resolves with the appropriate treatment
- Chronic: Symptoms lasting 12 weeks or more
- Recurrent: Experiencing three or more acute sinus infections within the span of one year
Potential Risk Factors
While any child can develop a sinus infection, there are certain factors that may increase their risk, including, but not limited to:
- Tooth infection
- Nose injury
- Deviated septum
- Large adenoids
- Problems with the immune system
Treating Sinus Infections in Children
The good news is that sinus infections are very treatable, and there are steps you can take, both at home as well as through medical treatments, to get your child feeling well enough to go back to school or play with their friends at Happy Hollow Park.
Your first step is to make an appointment with your child’s primary care provider. They will assess your child’s symptoms as well as take into account their age, overall health, the severity of their symptoms as well as how long they have lasted in order to determine a treatment plan. Options include:
- Rest and hydrate at home
- Use a warm compress to relieve sinus pain
- Antibiotics if a bacterial infection is suspected
- Referral to an ENT specialist
- Inhaled corticosteroid medication
- If allergy-related, antihistamines or immunotherapy
- In rare cases, sinus surgery
To learn more about treatment options or to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric specialists, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.