Sinus Headaches

Pediatric Sinusitis- A Study


Pediatric sinusitis as the name itself implies refers to a condition characterized by inflammation of the sinuses or swelling of the sinus cavities in children due to infection or allergy. Although there are a lot of similarities in the methods of diagnosis and treatment of this disease in children and adults, there are some notable differences.

Common symptoms of pediatric sinusitis include cough, earache, nasal congestion, nasal drip, foul smells and irritability. Headache, fever and facial pain do take place but are  rather uncommon.

Some other symptoms that may point to a potential sinus infection in children are colds which last about ten days to two weeks, at times accompanied by low-grade fever. There may be a thick nasal discharge that is greenish or yellowish in color. There may be swelling and dark circles around the eyes.

The sinuses are not fully formed before the age of twenty. Maxillary and ethmoid sinus cavities, however, are present right from the time of birth. Sphenoid and frontal sinuses get fully developed only by the time the child reaches adolescence. Most pediatric sinusitis cases develop as a result of viral infections in the upper respiratory tract.

In case of children, the symptoms of sinusitis are often so barely noticeable that an accurate diagnosis of the disease may be difficult to arrive at. It is better to correlate results of physical examination, clinical history and results from laboratory and radiological tests to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of the condition.

Oral antibiotics, nasal sprays and nasal decongestants can be used to treat nasal constriction and associated pain. Nasal wash and drops can be effective in getting rid of accumulated mucus secretions and restoring the normal functioning of the mucus membrane.

In case, the child does not respond to this treatment plan and if the condition persists for three months or more, the child may have chronic sinusitis. In such cases, a doctor may select other medical treatments or surgical options to treat the disease. However, it is only in rare conditions that a surgery may be performed to restore normal sinus ventilation.