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Pediatric Sinusitis

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Sinusitis is the inflammation of one or more of the sinuses that drain into the nose. In children, a common cold or viral infection is the most common event that may lead to a sinus infection. Also, foreign bodies, such as food or a toy, pushed into the nose, may cause a nasal infection.

When a viral infection begins, the lining of the sinuses becomes swollen, blocking the passage where normal sinus mucus drains. This results in a backup of mucus that cannot get out of the sinuses. When this mucus remains in the sinuses too long, it can become infected. This secondary infection can produce further inflammation and worsening or prolonging of nasal symptoms.

The symptoms of acute sinusitis may include:

  • General fatigue
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pain or pressure in face and sinuses
  • Runny nose with thick drainage (bacterial infections are suspected with progressive to persistent discolored drainage)

Why Choose UHealth?

Highly specialized rhinology doctors. The experts at University of Miami Health are here to help you breathe easier, smell better, and rest better with an accurate diagnosis and leading edge treatments in a compassionate setting. Our fellowship-trained providers specialize in the nasal airway, and our rhinology specialists have completed specialized training in nasal and sinus disorders. They have dedicated their clinical and research careers to caring for nasal and sinus disorders.

Our academic health center provides you with more treatment options. Our ENT specialists are experts in the field of rhinology. As part of an academic health center, we are proud to offer breakthrough treatments not available to other facilities in South Florida. We also offer our patients early access to clinical trials and new medical and procedural treatments. We provide comprehensive care for a wide array of rhinologic conditions, backed by expertise, research, and education.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Medications

    Your child’s ENT doctor may recommend a prescription or over-the-counter medication to help ease the symptoms or treat the underlying cause of the sinusitis. If bacteria caused the infection, antibiotics can treat that bacteria.

    Generally, if symptoms due to viral upper respiratory infection progress or worsen after 10 days, or discolored mucous progresses or worsens over five days, a bacterial infection is suspected, and antibiotics are usually in order. In general, we try to avoid prescribing antibiotics as much as possible for viral URIs, so as to reduce the chance of growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms over time.

  • Nasal Sprays 

    Nasal decongestant sprays can be used to treat nasal stuffiness, though they should not be used longer than three days. With long-term use of nasal decongestant sprays, the nose can become dependent on them, causing turbinate enlargement. Nasal stuffiness can worsen, ultimately requiring turbinate surgery.

  • Nasal/Sinus Irrigation

    Your child’s ENT specialist may recommend a nasal/sinus irrigation to treat the sinusitis as an initial treatment, with other over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and congestion.

  • Surgery 

    With recent advances in technology, ENT surgeons can now perform endoscopic sinus surgery entirely through the nose in children without face or mouth incisions. Alternately, your child’s ENT specialist may recommend sinus surgery using a balloon catheter to help manage select patients with chronic sinusitis. Although rarely necessary, when minimally invasive surgery is not an option, the ENT surgeon may need to perform sinus surgery via an external approach.


Tests

  • Nasal Endoscopy 

    Your child’s ENT doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) with a tiny camera attached to a high definition monitor, to visually inspect the inside of the sinuses to help determine the cause of the sinusitis. This test is more likely to be used in the case of chronic sinusitis.

  • Imaging 

    Images obtained from computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help your child’s doctor see details of your child’s sinuses and nasal passages. Note that a child’s sinuses tend to develop with age. At birth, only the ethmoid and maxillary sinuses are developed. The frontal and sphenoid sinuses don’t develop until late childhood to early adolescence.

    Scans are more likely to be used in the case of chronic sinusitis, and not for an acute viral upper respiratory infection or acute bacterial sinusitis. In most cases, a CT scan is the preferred scan for chronic sinusitis, whereas an MRI is the preferred scan if tumor or other lesions are suspected.

  • Nasal and Sinus Cultures 

    When your child’s sinusitis is long lasting and does not respond to medical treatment, your ENT specialist may recommend taking a culture (mucus or tissue sample) from the nasal area or sinuses to further assess the condition and determine next steps for treatments, such as a different antibiotic medication.

  • Allergy Testing 

    If your child’s ENT specialist thinks that allergies may play a role in their chronic sinusitis or chronic rhinitis (inflammation of the nose only), they may order an allergy skin test or consult an allergist. This test may help pinpoint the allergen that’s causing your child’s nasal inflammatory condition or worsening their chronic sinusitis or asthma.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • CompCare (Comprehensive Behavioral Care)
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Global Health Claims Services
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana HUMx
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care