If your child has been waking up with headaches, feeling stuffy or congested, and experiencing swelling around the eyes, your child may have sinusitis. Sinusitis is an infection of the sinus air spaces found in the bones around the nose (see picture below).
Sinus infections can make your child uncomfortable, but they're usually not severe, and with antibiotic treatment, a sinus infection will improve.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection. The sinuses are the moist air spaces within the bones of the face around the nose.
The sinuses are normally filled with air, making the facial bones less dense and much lighter in weight. Sinuses also give resonance to your child's voice.
Viruses or bacteria - or a combination of both - can cause sinusitis. Generally when a person has an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus such as a rhinovirus, that person also has inflammation of the sinuses, or viral sinusitis. The nasal congestion associated with the common cold doesn't allow the sinuses to drain properly, trapping bacteria inside. Bacterial sinusitis can then result.
Bacterial sinusitis tends to make children sicker than viral sinusitis, with resulting facial pain and swelling and sometimes fever. Bacteria that are normally found in your upper respiratory tract, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Haemophilus influenzae are most likely to cause sinusitis. These bacteria are the same bacteria that commonly cause ear infections.
Signs and Symptoms
These signs and symptoms (some or all in combination) may indicate bacterial sinusitis. Fever greater than 102 degrees F may or may not be present.
Many of these symptoms are similar to what your child experiences with a viral upper respiratory infection and allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nose and sinuses due to allergy), both of which are more common than sinusitis.
How Is A Sinus Infection Treated?
What Else Can Be Done To Make My Child Feel Better?
Take the complete course of antibiotics to treat the sinus infection. Even if your child feels better, it's important to take the full course of antibiotics. This helps kill all of the bacteria causing the infection, and lessen the chance of a reoccurrence.
The following will provide more relief:
Can Sinusitis Be Prevented?
When Should I Call My Doctor?