How do we measure childhood? In years? In milestones? How about in maladies? As you raise a child, it can feel as if growing up is but a constant cavalcade of colds, coughs, and other illnesses. There is, of course, strep throat, that first case of croup, and almost no early childhood is complete without at least one ear infection.
Additionally, there are common instances of sinusitis that usually follow colds and other infections. As the body grows and the immune system builds strength, the sinuses become more susceptible to inflammation, which can lead to discomfort. Look out for the most common sinus symptoms in children—if these symptoms occur simultaneously, your child’s sinus infection may require specific treatment beyond just waiting it out.
A stuffy nose is a sure sign of sinusitis in kids. The inflammation of the sinuses makes it harder to breathe through the nose, leading to breathing through the mouth instead. The only problem with this symptom is that congestion can be a hallmark of many other illnesses, from a simple rhinovirus—better known as the common cold—or a more severe bacterial infection.
Thick Nasal Discharge
There’s a lot that mucus can tell us. When mucus takes on yellow, green, or brown tones, it indicates infection. Mucus that is thicker and whiter than usual can be a sign of sinusitis. The body usually flushes this mucus through the nose, but in some cases, that isn’t enough.
When mucus drains from the linings of the sinus cavities, it doesn’t necessarily exit through the nostrils. A surfeit of mucus can overwhelm the carrying capacity of the nose and drain in two directions. Concurrent with a runny nose, kids with sinus infections can experience postnasal drip, meaning that excess mucus drains from the back of the nasal passages to the throat. Postnasal drip can irritate the throat, causing kids to cough more or feel the need to clear their throats of this additional fluid.
Inflammation of the sinuses means elevated cranial pressure, which can cause headaches. While a stuffy nose can occur as a result of numerous infections, when inflammation is severe enough to cause a headache, this makes sinusitis far likelier. You can treat bad headaches with low doses of acetaminophen, but addressing the root cause of sinusitis may take more.
Treating Sinusitis in Kids
If you’ve identified more than one of the most common sinus symptoms in children, you may need to do more than let the infection run its course. Allergy & ENT Associates provides sinus treatment in the Houston area for children—and adults—suffering from acute and chronic sinusitis, supplying necessary prescriptions and more advanced intervention strategies for chronic cases.