The sinuses are a group of four paired, air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. When your child gets a viral or bacterial infection or has problems with allergies, it can cause the sinuses to become inflamed. This is called sinusitis.
Sinusitis often looks and feels like a cold that lasts more than 10 days or a cold that starts to get better but then gets worse.
Symptoms of sinusitis can include:
There are two main types of sinusitis:
Your child’s doctor can usually diagnose sinusitis simply by asking about your child’s symptoms and examining the face, nose, mouth and throat. The doctor may order additional tests if he or she thinks your child may have chronic sinusitis. These tests will help your child’s doctor determine the best treatment options. They include:
Treatment for sinusitis depends on the cause. Your child may need antibiotics if acute sinusitis is caused by an infection.
Treatments for chronic sinusitis include nasal steroid spray and nasal irrigation with salt water. Treatment also includes managing conditions like allergies or asthma that make chronic sinusitis worse.
In some cases, surgery can help if other treatments do not work. Sinus surgery uses a thin camera called an endoscope to examine and open up the passages between the nose and the sinuses. This allows the sinuses to drain better, and it can help medicines, like steroid nasal sprays, work better. Sinus surgery can also remove nasal polyps.
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