Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Acute sinusitis may get better on its own. If it doesn’t, your child’s health care provider may prescribe:
- Antibiotics. If your child’s sinuses are infected with bacteria, antibiotics are given to kill the bacteria. If your child’s symptoms haven’t improved after three to five days, your health care provider may try a different antibiotic.
- Allergy medicines. For sinusitis caused by allergies, antihistamines and other allergy medicines can reduce swelling.
Note: Don’t use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays without checking with your child’s health care provider. These sprays may make symptoms worse.
Recurrent sinusitis is also treated with antibiotic and allergy medicines. Your child’s health care provider may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for testing and treatment.
Treatment for chronic sinusitis may include:
- ENT specialist visit. Your child may be referred to an ENT specialist.
- Antibiotics. Your child may need to take antibiotics for a longer time. If bacteria aren’t the cause, antibiotics won’t help.
- Inhaled corticosteroid medicine. Nasal sprays or drops with steroids are often prescribed.
- Other medicines. Nasal sprays with antihistamines and decongestants, saline sprays or drops, or medicines to loosen and clear mucus may be prescribed.
- Allergy shots or immunotherapy. If your child has nasal allergies, shots may help reduce his or her reaction to allergens such as pollen, dust mites or mold.
- Surgery. Surgery for chronic sinusitis is an option, although it is not done very often in children.
Care may also include:
- Fluids. A glass of water or juice every hour or two is a good rule. Fluids help thin mucus, allowing it to drain more easily. Fluids also help prevent dehydration
- Saline wash. This helps keep the sinuses and nose moist. Ask your child’s health care provider or nurse for instructions
- Warm compresses. Apply a warm, moist towel to your child’s nose, cheeks and eyes to help relieve pain in the face