Sinusitis is an over diagnosed condition in children. Many doctors and parents usually think that a yellow or green running nose is the first sign that a child has a sinus infection. However, most times it turns out that these children have viral upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold that require no treatment.
If a virus has caused a child sinusitis, medication is not necessary. Viruses usually go away without any treatment. However, one may give proper dosage of ibuprofen and acetaminophen to alleviate any pain experienced. A warm compress placed across the bridge between the cheeks and nose serves the same purpose. It is important for a parent not to give his children over-the-counter drugs that treat a cold. In addition to not being helpful, then may result in negative repercussions.
A saline nasal drops or spray can be used to thin any nasal congestion. This will bring some relief to the child. The solution can be bought from the pharmacy or one can make his own. A good recipe is provided for by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology commonly referred to as AAAAI.
If the doctor diagnoses the sinusitis as a bacterial infection, then he will prescribe some antibiotics for the child that may last between 10-21 days. At times, the child may improve for a short while but the symptoms recur, or the symptoms may not go away at all. When this happens, the doctor will prescribe a different antibiotic. Ultimately, the perfect antibiotic will be found.
Sinus infections in children sometimes become very persistent just like ear infections hence, very difficult to treat. In such situations, doctors often order X-rays to help them in evaluating the condition. An X-ray will reveal a persistent sinus.
When a child is suffering from a chronic sinusitis, chances are that he might be having an underlying condition like untreated allergies, chronically infected adenoids that may be leaking bacteria into his sinuses, or an anatomical problem inside the nose that may be preventing drainage. The doctor will then refer the child to an otolaryngologist for treatment. The otolaryngologist will most probably request for a CAT scan or X-ray of the child’s sinuses. Treatment will involve various options that may include; irrigation of the sinuses whereby the sinuses are flushed using a saline solution when the patient is under general anesthesia; removal of the adenoids; or an endoscopic sinus surgery that will help in improving the drainage passageways within the sinuses making them less blocked.
Sinus infection is usually a secondary infection. It can be prevented by treating colds and any allergies the child may have differently. One of the ways of doing this is by keeping the home environment moist with a humidifier. Moisture aids in keeping the sinus secretions and linings thin. Other ways are keeping the child well hydrated by drinking adequate fluids, and pharmaceutically and environmentally maintaining the child’s allergies.
All parents should understand that sinusitis is quite common throughout the world. They should find comfort in that the healthcare sector provides a myriad of prevention and treatment options that they can use to restore their children to good health.