Sinus congestion: what is it?
This happens when your child’s sinus fill up with mucous fluid. The nasal passages become inflamed when something irritates them, like passive cigarette smoke. The fluid accumulates in the sinuses because it is difficult for it to drain into his nose.
Although congestion is not the same as an infection, it does provide a favorable environment for bacterial growth. A sinus infection could develop if the sinuses remain clogged for a long time due to the bacteria’s rapid bacterial growth.
How do the sinuses work?
Four sets of air-filled cavities called sinuses are found behind and around the nose and eyes. Many people, including adults and children, only become aware of these areas when they start to hurt, so they might not understand how important they are. Sinuses lighten a person’s skull (allowing us to hold our heads high) and filter out many irritants in the air that is breathed in. Additionally, they act as a humidifier, soaking up dry air before it enters the lungs.
Here is how they function: The microscopic hair-like filaments (cilia) on the surface of the membranes lining the sinuses move mucus through these channels on a continuous basis. This is an effective infection-prevention measure. Particles that enter the sinuses are trapped in mucus, and the cilia in the back of the nose whisk them there so they can be ingested and broken down in the stomach. A little duct that enables both airflow and mucus drainage connects each sinus to the nasal canal. However, these channels are easily obstructed, which makes drainage challenges.
What generally causes sinus issues?
When nasal passages are inflamed, mucus cannot drain correctly, which usually happens when irritants are present, sinus congestion and infections occur. The most common causes of sinus issues in children are the common cold, passive smoking, air pollution, dry air, cold air, fumes (such as paint or cleaning products), allergies, and psychological stress. Common nasal abnormalities like polyps or a deviated septum might increase the risk of sinus infections. A youngster who participates in swimming or diving is particularly at risk since these activities can occasionally force water into the sinuses, where it might become stuck and cause an infection.
If you have a young child, you should also look into the potential that he may have pushed something up his nose, especially if he has more nasal drainage coming from one side of his nose or if he starts coughing persistently after playing with small objects like peas.
The frequency of sinus congestion?
Very. Children frequently contract colds, and sinus congestion is a common symptom. Generally speaking, there is little need for concern because the ailment usually goes away on its own within 10 to 14 days. A runny nose with discharge that changes from clear to yellow to green and back to clear and yellow may be one of the symptoms. Other typical symptoms include a cough and a mild fever (below 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
How can I help my child with nasal congestion?
Maintaining moisture in your child’s nasal passages can help with congestion. One typical approach is to use a humidifier, ideally one that emits warm vapor. Putting your child in the bathroom with the shower running hot so he can breathe in the warm, humid air through his nose may also be beneficial. To release crusted mucus and irrigate the nasal passages, you can also use saline nasal sprays, which are sold in drugstores.
The symptoms of sinus congestion can be relieved with decongestant spray, nose drops, or oral antihistamines, but you should speak to your pediatrician before providing one of these medications to your kids. Both may cause adverse effects: If taken for a number of days in succession, decongestant medications sometimes have a “rebound effect”: After the medication wears off, the congestion often returns with a vengeance. Antihistamines may cause drowsiness or hyperactivity by calming the allergic reaction that frequently causes nasal congestion.
When is sinus congestion something I should be worried about?
Call your pediatrician if you believe your child’s congestion may be developing into a sinus infection. When a sinus is clogged and bacteria accumulate inside, a sinus infection known as sinusitis results. The likelihood that your child’s congestion may result in an infection increases the more sinus issues he or she has had in the past.
If: Schedule a consultation with your pediatrician.
Your infant has nasal congestion and is less than four months old. During the first few months of life, your baby breathes mostly via his nose rather than his mouth, thus congestion can cause greater issues in him than in later children. This means that it may be difficult for your infant to eat or sleep if they have sinus congestion.)
In addition to having a stuffy nose, your child also has a high fever, a slight headache or face discomfort, and poor breath.
Your youngster has had nasal congestion and common cold symptoms for more than two weeks.
Is a sinus infection potentially harmful?
Rarely, a sinus infection that is left untreated spreads to other parts of the skull and becomes a significant issue. Infected sinuses surrounding the eyes have a thin barrier separating them from the brain, thus meningitis can develop. Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that envelop the brain.
For this reason, head to the emergency room right away if your child has a sinus condition and complains of a severe headache or experiences significant facial discomfort or swelling.
What medical choices are there for my child?
The most typical approach to treating sinus infection is with antibiotics. Your pediatrician will likely first recommend an antibiotic that kills a variety of germs, most likely amoxicillin. She will attempt an antibiotic that specifically targets those bacteria if that doesn’t work. Even if your child’s symptoms go away, make sure he continues to take the medication until it’s gone.
Your doctor might recommend a specialist to you if your child has a severe case of chronic sinusitis. The specialist may try to manually empty the sinus passages.
What steps can I take to avoid sinus issues?
Provide a clean, smoke- and dust-free environment.
An allergist can check your child to determine which irritants send his immune system into overdrive.