Sinusitis in children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The sinuses are cavities which are air-filled spaces located close to the nasal passageway. Similar to the nasal passage, the sinuses are lined by mucous membranes.

What is sinusitis in children?

Sinusitis is an inflammation in the sinuses. It is common for sinus infections to occur after allergies or after a cold. There are three kinds of sinusitis:

Short-term (acute):

Symptoms associated with this type of infection are not more than 12 weeks. They will become better with proper treatment.

The long-term (chronic):

These symptoms last for more than twelve weeks.


This means the inflammation is repeated. It is defined as 3 or more cases of acute sinusitis in a year.

What Causes Sinusitis?

The sinuses consist of four hollow spaces within the cheekbones, the forehead between the eyes and behind the eyes, and nasal passages.

The sinuses are lined with similar mucous membranes in the mouth and nose. If someone has an allergy or cold, nasal passages get swelling and produce more mucus and sinus tissues.

If they can’t drain the sinuses, they can become blocked, and mucus may get trapped within the sinuses. The growth of germs in the sinuses could result in sinusitis.

 What are the symptoms of sinusitis?  

The symptoms of sinusitis are dependent heavily on the child’s age. Here are the most frequent manifestations of sinusitis. However, every child might suffer from symptoms differently. Some of the symptoms include:

Younger children:

  • Nose irritated and runny
  • It lasts for more than seven to 10 days
  • The discharge is typically dense green or yellow. However, it can also be clear.
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fever

Adults and older children:

  • Cold symptoms or runny nose lasting more than 7 to 10 days
  • A drip in the throat comes through the nose
  • Pain in the face or headache
  • Cough
  • Fever (more frequent in children younger than)

The signs of sinusitis can be similar to other medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your child’s doctor to determine the cause.

 How is sinusitis diagnosed?  

Your child’s doctor can diagnose sinusitis based on your child’s symptoms and a physical examination. However, in some instances, further tests can be conducted to confirm the diagnosis. This could include:

Computed tomography (also known as CT (or CT scan). A diagnostic imaging process uses x-rays with computer technology to create horizontal or axial images (often known as slices) of the body.

CT scans display precise pictures of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, organs, and fat. CT scans are more accurate than X-rays that are generalized.

Nasal endoscopy. In some instances, having your doctor examine your child’s nose with the small flexible fiberoptic telescope can be beneficial. This simple test can be carried out in a routine office visit without anesthesia.

Cultures from the sinuses. Laboratory tests that include the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria, to aid in diagnosing.

Nasal endoscopy is commonly employed to help capture the infectious mucus from the areas where the sinuses drain into the nasal.

 What is the treatment for sinusitis in children?  

Treatment for sinusitis is contingent on many factors, which include:

FAQ Section:

 Who gets sinusitis?  

Since children are often sick, They are more likely to develop acute sinusitis in the future. However, children will rarely get chronic sinusitis.

 Does your child need to see a doctor about sinusitis?

Yes. It is important to bring your child to the GP If your child suffers from the following:

  • fever or general malaise without an apparent reason
  • A cough
  • neck stiffness and headache
  • eye swelling after an attack of a cold.

Which sinusitis is common in children?

The sphenoid sinuses have been developed at age 5, while the nasal sinuses are visible at 7 years, but they aren’t fully developed until the adolescent years.

Children are therefore predisposed to developing sinus infections from an early age. When children are young, the most frequent sinuses affected are the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses.

Do kids need antibiotics for sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis can heal by itself. If not, the healthcare professional treating your child might prescribe antibiotics. Likewise, when bacteria infect your kid’s sinuses, antibiotics can be prescribed to eliminate these bacteria.

Should my child stay home with a sinus infection?

Sinus infections may be viral or bacteria-based. “Either way, it’s best to stay home,” Wigmore states. This is because diseases of the sinuses are typically transmissible.

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