Paediatric Sinusitis – Part 3 (What are the symptoms and who is more likely to develop Paediatric Sinusitis?)

May 2, 2014

What are the symptoms of Paediatric Sinusitis?

Symptoms in children tend to be more pronounced than those of adults.

  • A runny nose with colored nasal mucus. Mucus may be yellow or green and can even be clear in color. Mucus drains in large amounts.
  • Coughing, a sore throat and bad breath (halitosis) with accompanying post nasal drip or mucus running down the back of the throat.
  • A fever or increase in body temperature.
  • Lethargy
  • Facial pain (usually occurs only in children older than 5) and swelling in certain areas such as around the eyes and cheeks may occur. Headaches may also be present.
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms that last for more than two weeks / 14 days.
  • Vomiting and nausea or even an upset stomach
  • A foul odor emanating from the nasal passages.

 

Symptoms vary depending on the level of sinusitis a child has:

 

Acute Sinusitis

Sub-acute

Chronic Sinusitis

Recurrent Sinusitis

  • Lasts for over two weeks
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Rhinitis or a runny nose
  • A fever
  • Ear infections or otitis media (middle ear infection)
  • Pain in the forehead region or headaches
  • Symptoms similar to those of a cold or flu are experienced.
  • Inflammation, swelling and discomfort felt for 1 to 1 ½ months.
  • Yellow, cloudy or colored nasal mucus.
  • Symptoms of acute sinusitis are present.
  • Sinusitis that has lasted for over 2 months.
  • Yellow or green nasal mucus.
  • All symptoms of acute sinusitis are present.
  • Sinusitis that has progressed on and off for a period of 1 year.
  • Persistent coughing
  • Recurrent Sinus infections over a period of time.
  • All symptoms of acute sinusitis are present.

Who is more likely to develop Paediatric Sinusitis?

Paediatric sinusitis is not more prevalent with regards to race, sex and age.

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Paediatric Sinusitis – Part 1 (What is Paediatric Sinusitis?)

November 5, 2013

What is Paediatric Sinusitis?

tPaeBabies are born with no immune system and it is only though the mothers breast milk that some immunity is acquired. As a baby grows and develops into a child he/she begins to slowly develop his/her immune system.

As ones immune system is not developed before the first several years of one’s life, it makes it easier for viruses, bacteria and other harmful agents to wreak havoc on a child system. Children are most susceptible to developing infections in the sinus cavities, nose and ear regions.

Paediatric sinusitis occurs when a child develops sinusitis after a normal cold or flu. Should this sinusitis persist, it can develop into chronic sinusitis. Physicians and otolaryngologists are often consulted to treat not only sinusitis but also help with associated symptoms. Antibiotics are usually the recommended treatment for paediatric sinusitis.

Children, like adults have 4 paired sinus cavities, the maxillary, sphenoid, ethmoid and frontal sinus cavities. At birth children have their ethmoid and maxillary sinus cavities and as they grow, the sphenoid and frontal sinus cavities develop. This occurs around the ages of 5 and 7. A child’s sinus cavities are smaller in size and have smaller openings through which mucus can drain. It is also more common for children to develop sinusitis in their ethmoid and maxillary sinus cavities.

There are three distinctions that differentiate levels of sinusitis in children:

  1. Acute Sinusitis occurs when one or more of the sinus cavities become infected and inflamed.
  2. Chronic Sinusitis occurs when the condition has persisted for longer than two months.
  3. Recurrent Sinusitis occurs when a child keeps developing sinusitis over a period a time with medical treatment providing only temporary relief.

The development of chronic sinusitis can often be a result of an immunodeficiency in a child, cystic fibrosis, an allergy such as hayfever or allergic rhinitis or even a syndrome whereby the cilia’s functioning is impaired called Immotile Cilia Syndrome.

What makes it so difficult to effectively treat bacterial sinusitis is that if a child is given antibiotics too frequently his or her body can build up a resistance to antibiotics. Frequent antibiotic use can also result in unwanted negative effects on a young child’s development.

Please be aware: Any cold or flu like symptoms that your child has and that persist over a period of 10-14 days are not always caused by a sinus infection as these can also be related to a common cold or flu.