Friday, June 22, 2012

Sinus Infection in Children - How It Is Different From Adults

The sinuses are air-filled packs found around the skull area. Because the sinuses are connected to the nasal cavity, fluids can easily flow out of them. This prevents episodes of blockage. In children however, the sinuses are still immature and are not yet fully developed. As a result, sinus blockage can easily occur. When a blockage occurs, bacteria and viruses can infect the inner walls of the sinus cavity. This results in what is known as 'sinus infection'.

Of course, the same episode can occur in adults. The causes of sinus infection in children are also the same causes in adults. However, children are generally more
prone because their immune system is still immature. And because children's sinuses are still developing, they are several times more prone compared to adults.

However, this infection is not always caused by bacteria or viruses. Irritants such as tobacco smoke and fumes can aggravate the sinuses. Allergic reactions or allergic rhinitis can also have a similar effect. This is why it is important for you to know if your child is allergic to something.


And although sinus infection is not generally considered a transmittable disease, causes of the infection can be acquired from others. For instance, your child can acquire sinusitis-causing bacteria and viruses from contact with other people/children. This is why it is advisable that you avoid leaving your child to day care centers very frequently.

Also, sinus infection can result from other health conditions. For example, prolonged episodes of cold that lasts for more than a week can eventually cause sinus infection. Also, any other health condition that causes inflammation in the upper respiratory tract can lead to this infection.

Another problem is that children are often not very good at explaining their bodily condition. This is especially a problem on very young children who are not yet able to speak properly. This is why it is important for you to be very observant. Some symptoms that you need to watch out for include the following:

• Swelling around the eye area
• Episodes of headache
• Post-Nasal drip
• Unexplainable bad breath
• Yellow-green nasal drainage
• Cold that lasts more than a week
• Nausea that sometimes leads to vomiting
• Facial pain

If you observe these symptoms or if your child complains any of these symptoms, you may conclude that your child has sinus infection. But just to be sure, it is advisable that you take your child to a physician. This way, proper medication can be administered. So how is this infection treated?

Actually, most cases of sinus infection do not need treatment. The condition usually goes back to normal after a few days to a week. But if symptoms persist for more than a week up to two weeks, medication may be necessary.

For children, an antibiotic prescription usually does the trick. Nasal sprays and decongestant sprays may also be prescribed by your child's physician. If the condition is the result of another health condition, treating the underlying health condition will usually make the sinus infection go away.

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