As the weather turns chilly day by day, it is common to have your child develop a runny nose. Kids are often left battling with drippy noses and consequent fever and blocked air passages. Though, it may not bother a child so much, it does become a matter of concern when a runny nose does not become ok and persistently creates worry for a parent. It is possible your child has developed sinusitis or a sinus infection that needs immediate attention.
What are sinuses?
Parents have generally heard of the word ‘sinusitis’ but are confused about what it means. Sinuses are merely air pockets in the upper jaw and skull, which form a part of our respiratory system. They serve important functions such as making inhaled air moist, providing resonance to voice and protecting against facial injury.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis means an inflammation of the sinuses. Sinusitis is a common problem in children and adolescents. Children are a vulnerable population when it comes to developing sinusitis and parents must be aware of this problem, so that they can help their child regain their healthy life as soon as possible. There are a number of causes of sinusitis, such as bacterial infections, viral infections or allergies.
11 warning signs and symptoms to look out for when you suspect sinusitis
1. Long lasting cold
Generally a ‘cold’ lasts only 5-10 days. If your child is not recovering from a cold and seems to show persistent cold-like symptoms, there is a chance that he/ she has sinusitis.
2. Persistent cough
If your child has persistent coughing that is not improving over 5 to 10 days, it could be a sign of sinusitis. Children with sinusitis keep coughing over many days and this can be frustrating for parents as to why a cough is not resolving soon. This could be a good reason to suspect sinusitis. The cough may also worsen at night, making it difficult for the child to sleep.
3. Nasal discharge
If your child has a drippy nose, with a continuous flow or nasal discharge, it is possible that sinusitis could be developing. Take a look at the color of nasal discharge also. A thick, yellowish or greenish discharge could indicate sinusitis.
If your child has sinusitis, he/she will usually develop fever, as a result of bacterial infection of the sinuses. Fever that is persistent for more than 3 – 4 days needs to be checked for possible development of sinusitis.
One of the characteristic problems you might find in your child that is indicative of sinusitis is headache. The headache is usually around or above the eye or eyebrow area.
Your child may complain of pain if he/she is suffering from sinusitis. When asked about the location of pain, your child may touch his/her cheeks in the upper jaw region. If the child is unable to tell where the pain is, you may press lightly over the cheek in the upper jaw area. If the area is tender, the child may report pain if sinusitis is developing.
7. Sore throat, bad breath and/or nausea and vomiting
A few non specific symptoms such as sore throat, bad breath or nausea and vomiting could indicate sinusitis. However, these may be caused by a number of other reasons as well, so parents need to understand that these symptoms along with the other listed symptoms is more characteristic of sinusitis, and not in isolation.
8. Swelling around the eyes
Occasionally, you may see a slight swelling around the eyes in your child, which again could indicate sinusitis.
A child with sinusitis may be irritable and restless because of the long lasting problems he/she is facing. A child gets irritable and disturbed because of persistent runny nose and headache.
10. Cocktail of symptoms
Generally, a child with an uncomplicated cold will show fever, body ache and headache during the first few days of the cold starting and then it mostly becomes ok. This is followed by airway problems such as a runny nose. However, if your child is developing sinusitis, he/she will show a cocktail of symptoms and signs such as runny nose, fever, headache and body ache concurrently or all together.
11. Overall improvement
Generally, by the 10th day of a cold, the symptoms of the cold such as runny nose and fever should be improving and your child should be feeling better. However, if your child continues to feel ill, irritable, have a headache and/or runny nose, sinusitis may be the cause. So look for overall improvement and if there is none, visit your pediatrician.
A lot can be done if your child is suffering from sinusitis. Generally, antibiotic therapy, saline nasal drops are prescribes under supervision of pediatrician, to treat sinusitis. Avoidance of allergens or things which trigger sinusitis can also be helpful. With growing levels of air pollution, it is all the more necessary to protect your child from smoke, dust and toxic particles contaminating the air. In general, if your child is suffering from persistent runny nose, nasal discharge, headache, fever and/or crankiness, get your child checked for possible sinusitis.
Parents should not be alarmed if sinusitis develops. It is treatable and every problem responds better if diagnosed early. However, sinusitis, if not det
An informed parent is a good parent. So always arm yourself with information, you never know when it is needed!
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