- Author: Carol Wirth
Enough already with the colds! My poor 6 year-old son, when teased by his older brother about the snot running out his nose, said, “I know, I can’t help it! When will I stop getting colds? It’s just I get a cold and then I get another one.” (He truly talks this way).
One, no more teasing, older brother, responses like that break a mom’s heart. Two, and all I’ve thought about was how cruddy I have felt weathering every cold they bring into the house.
So when is a cold more than just a cold?
Most kids will grow out of getting colds all the time as they build up their immunities and their physical structures are developed. The ear, nose and other structures in that area are still developing in children. Their sinuses, which are the cavities, or air-filled pockets, near the nasal passage, continue to grow and some don’t even develop until 7 years of age and adolescence.
We consider many factors when diagnosing children. Children that continue to go from infection to infection, and it affects their overall well-being may have enlarged tonsils. Enlarged tonsils can be a source for bacteria, so the child never gets well. If the child’s air passages are blocked, we advise that the tonsils be removed. That usually does the trick, and the parent will see sleep patterns improve and a noticeable difference in the child’s demeanor.
However, if the child or adult continues to suffer sinusitis, which is infection of the sinuses, into later years. We look at other sources of the problem.
Sometimes chronic sinusitis is related to abnormalities of the nasal structure or enlarged adenoids. Is there enough room to drain? When the flow of mucus is blocked, bacteria may begin to grow. This leads to a sinus infection. Many people with sinusitis experience constant headaches associated with the pressure of blocked sinuses.
At a certain point, it may be worth considering an endoscopic procedure to open up the sinuses and give you better plumbing.
In our office, we perform a procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty. Thanks to advancements in technology, endoscopic procedures can be performed in the exam room chair in a minimally invasive manner. You can be in and out in under an hour.
It really has helped those people who suffer through sinus infection after sinus infection.
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