It’s pretty unpleasant when children have constant runny and stuffy noses during winter. A stuffed nose could be due to many reasons and one of them is a sinus infection, which is a very common illness amongst children as well as adults.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis, or sinus infection, is the inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. This happens when sinuses are filled with mucus or fluid instead of only air, and as a result, germs can grow and cause an infection.
Sinusitis has different types, as follows:
- Acute sinusitis: It’s usually caused by the common cold and can either be a viral or bacterial infection. In most cases, it lasts between 1-2 weeks and up to four weeks if it’s a bacterial infection.
- Subacute sinusitis: It’s usually caused by either a bacterial infection or a seasonal allergy. It could last up to 3 months.
- Chronic sinusitis: It’s usually less severe and lasts for over three months. It’s commonly associated with persistent seasonal allergies and nasal issues.
How to spot Sinusitis?
- Common cold symptoms such as headache, runny/stuffy nose, loss of smell, fever, cough, and overall tiredness.
- High fever
- Dark thick nasal mucus
- Persistent cough
- Nasal blockage
- Feeling of pressure or congestion all over the face
- Possible bad breath
- Possible toothache
- Possible ear pain/pressure
Treatment of Sinusitis
- Saline nasal spray: To rinse and clear nasal passage.
- Nasal corticosteroids: Nasal sprays to lessen the inflammation.
- Antibiotics: In case the infection was bacterial.
Whilst the treatment options of chronic sinusitis could be similar, surgery is an option if the case is very persistent and doesn’t respond to medication.
Prevention of Sinusitis
Sinus infection could possibly be prevented by:
- Avoiding smoking and exposure to smoke
- Avoiding allergens and treating allergies using an antihistaminic medication
- Avoiding close contact with anyone with an infection
- Getting the flu vaccine annually
- Practicing good hygiene
- Eating balanced meals