Sinusitis in Children

November 29th, 2016 by admin in Nose Clinic, Paediatric Otolaryngology Comments Off on Sinusitis in Children

Sinus disease is common in children, and particularly difficult to diagnose in the very young, due to a lack of specificity in symptoms and signs.

Often it is the development of complications that draws attention to the underlying disease.

Acute sinusitis in children usually follows an upper respiratory tract infection. Although initially a viral infection, many cases rapidly develop into a bacterial suprainfection, usually with Haemophilus Influenzae or streptococcal pneumonia. This infection can lead to secondary complications.

Orbital complications of sinus disease are the most common and clinically the most important. Sinus disease is the most frequent cause of orbital cellulitis in childhood.

In considering orbital complications, the critical anatomical structure is the orbital septum. If the infection occurs outside of the septum, children can develop inflammatory edema or cellulitis. If infection develops within the septum, this can cause an abscess, which is a medical emergency as it can lead to loss of vision.

Intracranial complications are second in frequency to orbital complications. Although the incidence of suppurative intracranial complications of sinus disease is unknown, sinusitis is the source of 35 to 65 per cent of subdural empyema in children.

The criteria for the diagnosis and specific management of acute sinusitis in the paediatric age group are not clearly established. Older children might complain of headache, facial pain, nasal discharge or have recently had an upper respiratory tract infection. In younger children, there are often no specific complaints. Nasal symptoms (discharge and blockage) or cough present for more than seven days should you to the possibility of sinus disease.

If your child has been exhibiting any of these symptoms, or generalized symptoms of malaise, come and see Professor Havas to ascertain whether sinusitis is playing a part in their symptomatology.