Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Causes
Risk Factors
Symptoms
When to Seek Medical Care
Treatment
How to Feel Better
Over-the-Counter Medicine and Children
Prevention
Clean your hands
Receive recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine.
Avoid close contact with people who have colds or other upper respiratory infections.
Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
Use a clean humidifier to moisten the air at home.
Be careful about giving over-the-counter medicines to children.
Not all over-the-counter medicines are recommended for children of certain ages.
Pain relievers:
Cough and cold medicines:
Children younger than 6 months: only give acetaminophen.
Children 6 months or older: it is OK to give acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Never give aspirin to children because it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but very serious illness that harms the liver and brain.
Children younger than 4 years old: do not use unless a doctor specifically tells you to. Use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in young children can result in serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.
Children 4 years or older: discuss with your child’s doctor if over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are safe to give to your child for temporary symptom relief.
Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about the right dosage of over-the-counter medicines for your child’s age and size.
Also, tell your child’s doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines they are taking.
Put a warm compress over the nose and forehead to help relieve sinus pressure.
Use a decongestant or saline nasal spray.
Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water or shower.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter medicines that can help you feel better. Always use over-the-counter medicines as directed.
A doctor will determine what type of illness your child has by asking about symptoms and doing a physical examination. Your doctor can make the diagnosis of a middle ear infection by looking inside your child’s ear to examine the eardrum and see if there is pus in the middle ear.
Antibiotics are often not needed for middle ear infections because the body’s immune system can fight off the infection on its own. However, sometimes antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, are needed to treat severe cases right away or cases that last longer than 2–3 days.
For mild cases of middle ear infection, your doctor might recommend watchful waiting or delayed antibiotic prescribing.
Watchful waiting
Your child’s doctor may suggest watching and waiting to see if your child needs antibiotics. This gives the immune system time to fight off the infection. If your child doesn’t feel better after 2–3 days of rest, extra fluids, and pain relievers, the doctor may write a prescription for an antibiotic.
Delayed prescribing
Your child’s doctor may give an antibiotic prescription but suggest that you wait 2–3 days to see if your child is still sick before filling it.
Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
Symptoms that get worse after initially improving.
Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without improvement.
Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
Runny nose
Stuffy nose
Facial pain or pressure
Headache
Mucus dripping down the throat (post-nasal drip)
Sore throat
Cough
Bad breath
A previous cold
Seasonal allergies
Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
Structural problems within the sinuses (such as growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses, known as nasal polyps)
A weak immune system or taking drugs that weaken the immune system
Sinus infections happen when fluid builds up in the air-filled pockets in the face (sinuses), which allows germs to grow. Viruses cause most sinus infections, but bacteria can cause some sinus infections.
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