How To Diagnose Sinusitis In Babies
Many parents, and in some cases, even the doctor may misdiagnose a sinus infection. A runny nose with green mucus might not be a sign of sinusitis. It could be a common cold, which does not need specific treatment.
An ENT specialist will thoroughly examine the nose, throat, and ears of the baby and ask you about the history of such attacks, to diagnose the medical condition. Additional tests done to diagnose sinusitis are mentioned next .
- A computed tomographic scan helps in determining the development of the babys sinuses and blockage if any. The diagnostic imaging procedure combines X-ray and computer technology to produce axial or vertical images of the body.
- Sinus X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs.
- Cultures from the sinuses are collected and grown in the lab conditions to diagnose the infection.
Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor will prescribe the treatment accordingly. Most often, the treatment would be simple.
Signs Of Sinus Problems In Children
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The sinuses are hollow cavities located in your cheekbones, forehead, nasal passages, and between and behind the eyes. The tissues that line them are similar to the mucous membranes inside the nose and mouth.
The three main types of pediatric sinusitis are viral, allergic, and bacterial. Viral sinusitis usually results from the common cold. Allergic sinusitis accompanies hay fever and other nasal allergies. In these situations, your childs sinus tissues produce more mucus than normal, causing the sinuses to swell and become blocked.
Bacterial sinusitis is a little different. It occurs when bacteria gets trapped in the sinuses during a cold and causes an infection.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed In A Child
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Your child may also have tests, such as:
Sinus X-rays. An X-ray exam of the sinuses may help with the diagnosis.
CT scan of the sinuses. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body. They are more detailed than X-rays.
Cultures from the sinuses. A swab of discharge from the nose may be taken. The sample is checked for bacteria or other germs.
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Sore Throat Bad Breath And/or Nausea And Vomiting
A few non specific symptoms such as sore throat, bad breath or nausea and vomiting could indicate sinusitis. However, these may be caused by a number of other reasons as well, so parents need to understand that these symptoms along with the other listed symptoms is more characteristic of sinusitis, and not in isolation.
What Side Effects Are Possible With This Medication
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal pain
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- blurred vision or other eye symptoms
- fluid retention
- ringing in the ears
- signs of clotting problems
- skin rash
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of bleeding in the stomach
- symptoms of a severe allergic reaction
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
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What Does A Sinus Headache Feel Like
Sinus headaches are headaches that may feel like an infection in the sinuses . You may feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. Perhaps your head throbs. However, many people who assume they have headaches from sinusitis, including many who have received such a diagnosis, actually have migraines.
Types Of Sinus Medicines
The combination of sinus infection medicine is used for the temporary treatment for the symptoms of sinus like flu, cold, allergies, and other breathing problems.
The Decongestants medicines are helping you to relieve a stuffy nose. Stuffy nose is the most irritating problem triggered by the inflammation in the blood vessels of the sinus. Due to the acute upper respiratory infection, the blood vessels can be disturbed because of cold and sinus infection. Decongestants medicine is helping to relieve this problem.
Acetaminophen medicines are the most commonly used sinus medicine it is a non-aspirin pain reliever and the fever reducer, which helps to reduce the pain.
The Antihistamines medicines are designed for resisting the action of histamine this is one of the chemicals that is generated in the body for allergic reactions like itches in eyes, nose, throat, and watery eye and running nose problem. Also, these medicines help to reduce nasal stuffiness and mucus production. If you have any allergies due to the sinus, your healthcare provider refers to add this medicine for your treatment.
Sometimes your healthcare provider will collect the mucus from the nose and send it to the laboratory to check the bacteria infection. This test will also help to choose the antibiotic for bacteria infections. Using antibiotics leads to bacterial resistance and side effects, so you have to use the antibiotics carefully and thoughtfully.
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Antibiotics For Bacterial Sinus Infections
Many people with a bacterial sinus infection improve by using the same treatments as those used for viral sinus infections.
But if your symptoms continue to not improve or even worsen, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics.
The antibiotic your doctor prescribes depends on if you have an allergy to penicillin and if it’s likely that you have a drug-resistant bacterial infection.
The standard antibiotic therapy for bacterial sinus infection in people who are not allergic to penicillin is amoxicillin or amoxicillin-clavulanate. High dose amoxicillin-clavulanate is recommended if bacterial resistance is likely, such as in:
- People who have recently received antibiotics
- Hospitalization in the last five days
- Healthcare providers
- People who live in areas where there is a high rate of community resistance
- People whose infection is severe or lasts longer than usual
- The elderly
- People with a severe coexisting condition, including diabetes, renal disease, liver disease, chronic cardiac issues, and health issues that cause a weakened immune system
People who are allergic to penicillin may be treated with:
Consult A Doctor If Home Remedies Dont Help Sinus Symptoms
If symptoms persist without improvement for more than 10 days, you should consult your pediatrician.
You should also call the doctor before that time if your childs sinus pain is accompanied and a discharge for several days, or if their symptoms significantly worsen. In these cases, antibiotics may be appropriate.
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Which Children Are At Risk For Sinusitis
A sinus infection sometimes happens after an upper respiratory infection or common cold. The cold causes swelling that can block the opening of the sinuses. This can cause a sinus infection. Allergies can also lead to sinusitis because of swelling and increased mucus. Other possible conditions that can lead to sinusitis include:
Abnormal shape of the nose
Infection from a tooth
Foreign object in the nose
Birth defect with abnormality of the roof of the mouth
Problem with stomach acids
Cystic fibrosis and immunodeficiency syndromes
Immune problems or antibody deficiencies are risks for chronic sinus conditions.
Does Your Child Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection
- Infectious disease specialists agree on the following criteria for treating sinus infections with antibiotics:
- Symptoms lasting for 10 days or more and not improving
- Symptoms with fever over 102 degrees lasting for 3-4 days in a row
- Cold symptoms lasting 5-6 days that improved but were then followed by new fever, headache, cough, nasal discharge or facial pain
- Xrays are NOT accurate for diagnosing sinusitis. They can result in both under-diagnosis and over-diagnosis. The best test to detect the presence of infection is a CT scan of the sinuses.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Sinusitis In My Child
There are things that can help your child prevent sinusitis. They include:
Have your child use saline sprays, washes, or both. Use these often to keep the nose as moist as possible.
Use a humidifier in dry indoor environments.
Keep your child away from cigarette and cigar smoke.
Keep your child away from things that cause allergy symptoms.
Don’t force water into the sinuses. For example, your child should not jump into water.
Limit time in chlorinated pools. The chlorine can irritate the nose and sinuses.
Practice good hand hygiene.
Keep you and your child up to date with immunizations.
Don’t have close contact with people who have colds or others upper respiratory infections.
Breathe In Essential Oils For Calming Relief
Although the BMJ review says there is no scientific confirmation that inhaling oils improves sinus inflammation, many children find oil of eucalyptus does help them breathe, Rolnick says.
You never want to put essential oils directly on the skin. Instead, place a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a ball of cotton and hold it a few inches from your childs nose.
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Is Vicks Vapor Rub Good For Sinus
Hoecker, M.D. Vicks VapoRub a topical ointment made of ingredients including camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol that you rub on your throat and chest doesnt relieve nasal congestion. But the strong menthol odor of VapoRub may trick your brain, so you feel like youre breathing through an unclogged nose.
Try Nasal Irrigation To Wash Out Sinus Passages
Nasal irrigation is the only remedy where there is evidence in children that it lessens the severity of a plugged nose, although the authors of the BMJ review note the studies were small.
Irrigation is a method of using a sterilized saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucous residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash or nasal douche.
Adults sometimes get the water into the nose via a device called a neti pot, so this method is sometimes known by that name.
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Check If You Have Sinusitis
Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
Sinus Infection In Kids: What Parents Should Know
- Sinusitis means infection and inflammation of the sinus cavities. The infections can be viral or bacterial and often follow colds or attacks of allergies.
- Nine out of every ten cases of sinusitis are caused by viruses and do NOT get better with antibiotics.
- Yellow or green mucus coming from the nose does NOT mean theres a bacterial infection. This commonly occurs with viruses as well. Sinus pressure/headaches also do not mean there is a bacterial infection.
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What Causes Acute Sinusitis In Children
Acute sinusitis is usually caused by a viral infection, such as a cold. If your child has symptoms longer than the usual week to 10 days that a cold lasts, then they may have an acute sinus infection. Young children are more prone to infections in their sinuses, especially in their first few years. These infections may be made worse if your child has any allergies.
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Anatomy And Development Of Paranasal Sinuses
The paranasal sinuses are paired structures and develop as evaginations of the mucous membranes of the nasal meatuses., These air-filled cavities are lined by a ciliated, pseudostratified, columnar epithelium., The maxillary and ethmoidal sinuses develop around the third to fourth month of gestation and these sinuses, though small, are usually present at birth., The sphenoidal and frontal sinuses usually do not develop until 23 years of age and remain rudimentary until 56 years of age. For the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses, complete pneumatization is usually achieved at about 12 years of age whereas the frontal and sphenoidal sinuses may not completely develop until 20 years of age., The maxillary, frontal, and anterior ethmoidal sinuses drain to the middle meatus, whereas the sphenoidal and posterior ethmoidal sinuses drain to the superior meatus below the superior turbinate.,
Bacterial Sinus Infections: When To Suspect
- Yellow or green nasal discharge is seen with both viral and bacterial sinus infections. Suspect a bacterial infection if the discharge becomes thick . But, it also needs one or more of these symptoms:
- Sinus Pain, not just normal sinus congestion. Pain occurs mainly behind the cheekbone or eye or
- Swelling or redness of the skin over any sinus or
- Fever lasts more than 3 days or
- Fever returns after it’s been gone for over 24 hours or
- Nasal discharge and post-nasal drip lasts over 14 days without improvement
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Key Points About Sinusitis In Children
Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses.
When discharge from the nose is blocked, bacteria may start to grow. This leads to a sinus infection or sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis may get better on its own. But if it doesnt, medicine can be prescribed.
For chronic sinusitis, the healthcare provider may refer your child to an ear, nose, and throat doctor for testing and treatment.
To help prevent sinusitis, have your child use saline sprays or washes to keep the noise moist. Use a humidifier in dry inside areas.
Acute Sinus Infection Medications
If the remedies listed above don’t do the trick, you can also take various over-the-counter medications to help relieve your sinus infection symptoms.
- Nasal steroids, such as Flonase , Rhinocort , and Nasonex , to reduce swelling in the nose
- Oral decongestants such as Sudafed and phenylephrine if you have ear pain or fullness
- Nasal decongestants such as oxymetazoline or neo-synephrine
- Pain relievers or fever reducers, such as Tylenol , ibuprofen , or Aleve
Oral antihistamines such as Benadryl are not recommended for sinus infections because they may not improve symptoms and can cause side effects.
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Causes For Sinus Infection In Babies
Sinus infection is generally seen after a cold, an allergic inflammation, or upper respiratory infection . However, Mayo Clinics Allergic Diseases Research Laboratory researcher, Dr. David Sherris, says that the cause of chronic sinusitis has not been known so far.
Our studies indicate that fungus is likely the cause of nearly all of these problems. And it is not an allergic reaction, but an immune reaction, Dr. Sherries adds.
According to her team, the primary cause of chronic sinusitis is the reaction of the immune system to fungi. The researchers studied 210 patients and found 40 different kinds of fungi in their mucus .
- Streptococcus pneumonia
- Secondhand smoking
- Foreign objects stuck in the nose
Pediatric sinusitis cannot be diagnosed easily at home as the symptoms are general and often overlap with the symptoms of common cold and allergy. Thus, to get the right diagnosis, prompt pediatric consultation is necessary.
Treatment Of Sinus Problems In Children
The best treatment for your childs sinusitis depends on its cause. Consider calling your pediatrician if your child has a cold that lasts longer than seven to 10 days or seems to be getting worse. You also should consult the doctor if your child has multiple symptoms of sinusitis.
If your childs doctor thinks bacterial sinusitis is to blame, a course of antibiotics may be necessary. Be sure your child takes the entire prescription, even after symptoms clear up.
For allergic sinusitis, antihistamines or decongestants may help. Viral sinusitis doesnt require antibiotics or special medicine. Instead, you can treat it with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Home remedies for sinusitis, such as warm compresses, can help ease pressure and congestion. An over-the-counter nasal saline solution also can help relieve symptoms and clear out bacteria and allergens.
Have more questions about sinus problems in children? Contact your childs pediatrician. To find a UPMC Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh pediatrician, call 412-692-7337.
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