Sinusitis Symptoms & Causes

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What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses near the nose. These infections usually occur after either a cold or an allergic inflammation. There are three types of sinusitis:

  • acute sinusitis: occurs quickly and improves with the appropriate treatment
  • subacute sinusitis: does not improve with treatment initially, and lasts less than three months
  • chronic sinusitis: occurs with repeated acute infections or with previous infections that were inadequately treated, and lasts longer than three months

What causes sinusitis?

Sometimes, a sinus infection happens after a child has an upper respiratory infection (URI) or common cold. The URI causes inflammation of the nasal passages that can block the opening of the paranasal sinuses, and result in a sinus infection. Allergies can also lead to sinusitis because of the swelling of the nasal tissue and increased production of mucus. There are other possible conditions that can block the normal flow of secretions out of the sinuses and can lead to sinusitis including the following:

  • abnormalities in the structure of the nose
  • enlarged adenoids
  • diving and swimming
  • infections from a tooth
  • trauma to the nose
  • foreign objects stuck in the nose
  • cleft

When the flow of secretions from the sinuses is blocked, bacteria may begin to grow. This leads to a sinus infection, or sinusitis. The most common bacteria that cause sinusitis include the following:

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

The symptoms of sinusitis depend on the age of the child. The following are the most common symptoms of sinusitis. However, each child may experience symptoms

In younger children, symptoms may include:

  • runny nose
  • lasts longer than seven to 10 days
  • discharge is usually thick green or yellow, but can be clear
  • nighttime cough
  • occasional daytime cough
  • swelling around the

In older children and adults, symptoms may include:

  • runny nose or cold symptoms lasting longer than seven to 10 days
  • drip in the throat from the nose
  • headaches
  • facial discomfort
  • bad breath
  • cough
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • swelling around the eye, often worse in the morning
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