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Common Child Allergy Sinus Problems

Children suffer from a variety of common upper respiratory infections and allergies that take a toll on the sinuses. Here’s a look at the most common child allergy sinus problems and how to deal with them.

Different child allergy sinus problems can cause discomfort, even pain, fatigue, irritability, and pressure. Recognizing these common child allergy problems and taking the steps mentioned here to prevent and treat them will help get your child’s life back to normal.

• Sinus pressure/Stuffy Nose
Sinus pressure results from blocked sinuses that cannot clear mucus congestion. A decongestant can help open the drainage passageways to allow sinuses to clear. Humidifiers and steamers can also help loosen mucus so that it passes more easily. Saline sprays or drops, and decongestant nose drops are helpful as well.

• Sinusitis
Sinusitis, or sinus infection, results when sinuses become blocked and bacteria, fungi, or viruses gain a good place to grow. Prevention consists mainly of preventing sinus blockage as described above. Treatment options are similar and decongestants or humidification can relieve pressure as the body fights the illness. Bacterial sinusitis may be treated with antibiotics, but antibiotics cannot clear viral infections, and so viral sinusitis often has to run its course; pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen help manage pain and fever.

• Watery, runny nose
Runny noses are very common child allergy sinus problems which can result from any number of allergies, including the most common-hay fever. When a child has a runny, watery nose, the best thing to do is to try to dry it up by using an antihistamine to stop the reaction. It should be noted, though that a running nose is one that is clearing congestion, which means the child is less likely to suffer from sinus blockage and sinusitis, so when tolerated a runny nose can be a good thing.

• Itchy nose
Itchy nose is one of the most common child allergy sinus problems; the only real way to treat it after the fact is to stop the allergic reaction, usually with an antihistamine. Preventing allergen exposure is the best way to prevent this child allergy sinus problem.

All of these common child allergy sinus problems may be made worse by certain factors, including smoking, infection, pollution, and fumes. Avoiding all of these will further increase the comfort of your child and help prevent secondary infections caused by sinus congestion and inflammation.

When to Call The Doctor

Although tempting, it is pointless to call the doctor at every sign of sinus discomfort. There are times when it is in the best interest of a child suffering from one or more of these common child allergy sinus problems, though, including

• Presence of fever
• Extreme discomfort
• Off-colored discharge that does not clear after a few days
• Child allergy sinus problems that last more than 10-14 days
• Chronic problems that are impacting the health or lifestyle of the child
• Child allergy sinus problems that are not easily controlled with medication and comfort measures
• Child allergy sinus problems that make breathing and eating difficult for the child

And as always, when there is a doubt, it is best to call the child’s doctor’s office anyway and get the opinion of a nurse or the doctor to determine if the child should be seen.