About Sinus Infections in Children

Sinusitis in Children

Sinuses in children continue to develop until the age of 20. However, sinus infections are common in children. Although smaller than adults, maxillary sinuses (located behind the cheeks) and ethmoid sinuses (located between the eyes) are present at birth. It is difficult to distinguish sinusitis from other upper respiratory tract infections in children. Unlike a simple cold or allergy attack; bacterial sinusitis requires antibiotic treatment. Sinusitis can be seen more frequently in children who go to daycare, feed in a horizontal position with a pacifier or bottle, have allergic diseases, are exposed to cigarette smoke, and have adenoid hypertrophy,diseases affecting the immune system, cystic fibrosis, nasal polyps, ciliary disorder.

The presence of the following symptoms may indicate a sinus infection in children:
  • Fever that sometimes lasts more than 10 to 14 days and sometimes is low-grade
  • Dark consistency yellow-green nasal discharge
  • Sometimes a sore throat. Post-nasal discharge that can cause cough, bad breath, nausea and / or vomiting
  • Headache (usually not seen before the age of 6)
  • Nervousness and fatigue
  • Swelling around the eyes
Purulent Postnasal Discharge
In the photo above, postnasal, thick, purulent discharge is seen.

Sinusitis causes are usually viruses and bacteria. Although rare, there may be fungal agents. Fever is more prominent in bacterial sinusitis.

Sinusitis diagnosis in children

Generally, simple endoscopic nasal examination is sufficient for the diagnosis of acute sinusitis. It is typical to observe intranasal or postnasal purulent discomfort in the examinations of the patients. In patients with treatment-resistant and recurrent sinusitis attacks, endoscopic examination can also be used to evaluate the adenoid tissue located in the most backward and central nasal cavity, and rarely, imaging methods may be requested.

Sinusitis treatment in children

Sinus Infections in Children,Nasal Foreign Body,Sinusitis,
General condition monitoring, fever control and regular nasal saline irrigation are important in children with sinusitis symptoms. Appropriate antibiotic treatment can be planned in patients with increased fever. Especially in patients with adenoid hypertrophy or symptoms of chronic adenoiditis, adenoidectomy operation can significantly reduce sinusitis attacks. Endoscopic sinus surgery or balllon sinuplasty, which can be planned in the treatment of chronic sinusitis, is rarely required in children with recurrent sinusitis attacks in adults. It is important to eliminate contact with cigarette smoke, which causes sinusitis attacks, and to keep children away from crowded environments as much as possible.

Unilateral, purulent and foul-smelling runny nose may be a sign of a foreign body in the nose!

Sometimes in young children, when there is a unilateral and malodorous nasal discharge, it occurs due to unilateral inflammation, which can occur due to a foreign body inserted into the nose. When sinusitis occurs in children, the inflammatory discharge usually comes from both nostrils; Runny nose due to foreign body is usually one-sided and bad-smelling. In this case, an ent specialist should be consulted for examination. Foreign objects inserted into the nose can sometimes be overlooked and may remain for weeks, months or even years after insertion. These foreign bodies are classified as living and non-living or organic and inroganic. In general, organic foreign bodies inserted into the nose tend to irritate the nasal mucosa more, they can gradually grow in the nose, obstruct the airway, and tend to cause much earlier symptoms.

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

Private Office:
Address: İncirli Cad. No:41, Kat:4 (Dilek Patisserie Building), Postal code: 34147, Bakırköy - İstanbul
Appointment Phone: +90 212 561 00 52
E-Mail: muratenoz@gmail.com 
Mobile phone: +90 533 6550199
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