Sinuses are four air filled cavities around the nose and eyes. A child’s sinuses are not as fully developed when compared to adults. The maxillary sinuses, present behind the cheek and the ethmoid, between the eyes, are present from the time of birth. Like children, even adults are usually not aware of their sinuses till there is some problem associated with them. They act as filters, removing any airborne particles as well as making the skull lighter.
“Sinus problems in children are much difficult to diagnose than in adults.”
~ Dr. NIKITHA N DESHMUK, ENT, MS, Apollo Clinic, Konapur
Sinus problems in children are much difficult to diagnose than in adults as they can be caused by simple viral infections and allergies. Most sinus infections are caused by viral infections like flu and cold which then get aggravated.
The best way to detect a sinus infection in a child is to keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- A cold lasting for more than ten days
- Thick yellow nasal drainage
- Post-nasal drip leading to cough, sore throat, bad breath, nausea and vomiting
- Irritability or fatigue
- Swelling around the eyes
It is easy to prevent the problem of sinusitis in children by taking a few simple measures like:
- Reduce exposure to allergens by washing clothes often, clear up overstuffed furniture, clean the rugs thoroughly, stay away from sprays or perfumes and avoid exposure to smoke.
- Improve ventilation in the house by opening windows whenever possible. Use a humidifier at home.
- Help the child sleep with the head of the bed elevated. This promotes sinus drainage.
- Children with known infections must minimize exposure.
- Avoid temperature extremes.
- Swimming is a strict no-no. Encourage your child to take up other sports.
- Wash the child’s nose with saline for medical benefits.
- Maintain and promote good hygiene at home. Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of sinusitis, therefore the risk of getting them needs to be reduced by carefully monitoring hygiene and frequently washing hands with soap and water.
- Encourage the child to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily.
Keep in mind that children are very susceptible to sinus infections and it is best to tackle the problem before surgical intervention becomes necessary. Visit an Apollo Cradle centre to know more about pediatric sinusitis and the best ways to overcome it.