If you’re a parent, you know that children are prone to coming down with little bugs and colds all the time. Most times, these colds go away within a couple of days. However, if symptoms linger, there is a chance your child has developed a sinus infection.
What’s a Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection occurs when there is inflammation that causes a buildup of fluid in the sinuses, leading to infection. It is also commonly referred to as sinusitis. It often occurs after a cold or other viral infection but can be caused by bacteria and other factors as well.
- Facial pain or pressure around the sinuses
- Nasal congestion
- Thick, discolored nasal discharge
- Loss or weakened sense of smell
- Postnasal drip
How Common Are Sinus Infections in Children?
Sinus infections are fairly common in children. Research tells us that “approximately 6% to 7% of children presenting with respiratory symptoms have acute sinusitis.”
The type of sinus infection your child has is related to how long they’ve had their symptoms. In general, there are three types of sinusitis:
- Acute: A short-term infection lasting less than 12 weeks and improves with treatment.
- Chronic: Symptoms last longer than 12 weeks.
- Recurrent: Three or more episodes of sinusitis in the same year.
When To Take Your Child To The Doctor
Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up all on its own. However, if your child has symptoms lasting longer than 7–10 days or is running a fever, reach out and make an appointment with a medical provider. They can review your child’s symptoms and order appropriate testing to help determine the best treatment options.
Treating Sinusitis in Children
Your child’s treatment options will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity and duration of their symptoms as well as their age and overall health. Possible options include:
- Monitoring symptoms as they rest and get plenty of fluids at home.
- Antibiotics if caused by a bacterial infection.
- Inhaled corticosteroid medication
- Allergy medications or immunotherapy if their infections are allergy related.
- Sinus surgery, though this is less common in children.
The right treatment will help alleviate your child’s illness and give them their energy back so that they can go to school and play with their friends at Kachina Park without their sinus symptoms bringing them down.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric specialists, call Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.