Sinus Infection That Doesn’t Go Away? Chronic Sinusitis FAQ

Does your child keep getting sinus infections? Do sinus infections last for weeks despite conventional treatment? A sinus infection that lasts for 12 weeks or more may be described as “chronic sinusitis,” a condition that can affect adults and children of any age. While relatively easy to identify in young and middle age adults, chronic sinusitis can be a little more complicated in pediatric patients, as the symptoms could be caused by a multitude of illnesses.

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

Generally, symptoms of a sinus infection in a child include:

  • A cold that lasts for ten days to two weeks and is sometimes accompanied by a low-grade fever
  • Post-nasal drip (which may cause sore throat, bad breath and nausea and/or vomiting)
  • Yellow or green mucus discharge
  • Headache
  • General fatigue or irritability
  • Swelling, pain or tenderness around the eyes

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis can vary slightly. Chronic sinusitis, for example, usually causes more fatigue, though fever is not as common as it is in acute sinusitis.

When should my child see a doctor for chronic sinusitis?

Schedule an appointment with an ENT doctor near you if your child has had…

  • Several sinus infections that did not respond to treatment
  • Symptoms of a sinus infection for seven days or more
  • No improvement in symptoms after seeing your doctor

What causes chronic sinusitis?

There are many possible causes of chronic sinusitis, which is one reason why seeing a specialist for this condition can be so valuable. Regular sinus infections may be caused by allergies, respiratory tract infections, nasal polyps, a deviated septum or other medical conditions. Only a physician can diagnose the cause of chronic sinusitis.

How is chronic sinus infection diagnosed?

Your doctor at ENT Clinic of Utah may perform a physical examination, checking for tenderness and evaluating the inside of the nose. In some cases, one or more of the following tests may be advised:

  • Nasal endoscopy (to see the interior of the nasal cavities)
  • CT scan or MRI (to locate inflammation or obstruction)
  • Nasal swab (to look for bacteria or fungi)
  • Allergy test (to look for allergens causing chronic inflammation)

What treatments are available for chronic sinusitis?

Your ENT specialist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that achieves specific goals unique to your (or your child’s) sinus infection. Some cases, for example, may require treating an underlying cause of sinus infection (such as allergies); other cases could require reducing inflammation and related symptoms.

Generally, symptomatic treatments include corticosteroids and irrigating the nasal cavity. Antibiotics may be appropriate in some cases if sinusitis is caused by bacterial infection. Immunotherapy may help patients whose sinusitis is caused by allergens. Lastly, surgery to enlarge openings and/or remove polyps or other obstructions may be used in cases that do not respond to more conservative treatment.

Get Treatment for Sinus Infection. See an ENT Near You.

For more information about acute and chronic sinus infection treatment, schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist at ENT Clinic of Utah. Call 801-912-8270. Conveniently located in Magna and West Valley City, ENT Clinic of Utah is positioned to serve pediatric and adult patients on the west side of Salt Lake City.