Definition: Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining of any sinus, especially one of the paranasal sinuses. The symptoms of a sinus infection may include cough and congestion lasting more than about 10 days, facial pains, headaches, sore throat, fatigue, jaw pain, postnasal drip, bad breath, and swollen eye lids. Not all of these symptoms may be present with a sinus infection.
Cause: Many sinus infections start with a cold, which is caused from a virus. Generally a cold will clear up on it’s own within about two weeks. However, the inflammation of the sinus membrane may set a person up get a bacterial infection that needs treatment with antibiotics. Sometimes chronic inflammation due to allergies can also set a person up for a bacterial sinus infection. Occasionally, a fungus can also cause a sinus infection.
Expected course: Sinus infections are sometimes resistant to treatment. We expect that you will notice improvement in symptoms within about a week of beginning antibiotics. It is important to keep all appointments that your doctor suggests so that he/she can be certain the infection gets fully cleared before stopping treatment. Sometimes it can take 4-6 weeks to fully clear up a sinus infection.
You child may be diagnosed with sinusitis based on a physical examination by your doctor and/or lab work such as a nasal smear. In this case, the doctor will prescribe medication. It is very important that your child take the medicine every day as prescribed. In addition, it is important that your child continue to take the medicine right up until the time of his/her next appointment. If you run out of medicine after your child has already been taking it for more than ten days, call us. We may change your follow-up appointment to a sooner day. If you run out of medicine and your child has been taking it for less than ten days, you should call us so that we can phone out additional medicine to your pharmacy.
The doctor may want to recheck your child regardless if how well he/she seems to be doing. Symptoms of a sinus infection go away long before the last germs do. Because of this, you may think your child is well and stop the medicine, only to find that your child is ill again in two or three weeks. Please keep all of the appointments your doctor advises (usually 12-14 days from the first visit, and each visit after that until the infection is clear).
Your child’s antibiotic prescription will be for 14 days worth of medicine. Please call is you are concerned that your child is having any side effects from the medicine or if you have any other questions or concerns about the medicine. It will be much better if you call with concerns, rather than just stopping the medicine.
Call the office if…
- Your child develops a rash.
- Your child has any respiratory distress.
- Your child doesn’t improve on the medicine.
- Your child starts to get worse or acts very ill.
- If you have any concerns or questions.