18 answers

Seeking Advice on Sons Sinus Issues

Hello - I have a 20 month old son who last year and even before that has had a lot of issues with sinus infections. We had our last round of antibiotics in August and he has done really well until recently. We have seen an ENT who has suggested having his adenoids removed to help. I was not ready for that.
What I am wondering is has anyone experienced there childs breath being just horrible in association with adenoid issues? My son's breath is horrible, it is not a normal smell, it is almost a rotting, sick smell. Sometimes it is worse that other times. I discovered this weekend that while he is sleeping, he is chewing on his blanket and there is light brown stuff where he was chewing and it smells terrible! I dont know if it is blood from teething but I cant imagine if it is that it would smell so bad. Has anyone experienced this? If so what was it? Does it have to do with reflux? Just looking for some answers! Thanks!

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My eight year old has serious sinus issues. Her adenoids were taken out and helped a bit but it didn't solve the entire issue. I was certain she had some sort of allergy that was causing all the mucus but after tests were done she isnt allergic to a thing. The doc believes she is one of those few who just has chronic siusitus. I know what you mean about the bad breath thing though. She always smells sick to me. Some days are worse than others and when she has a lot of mucus she always gets an infection. She is old enough that we have her rinse her sinuses out daily with saline. That has helped more than anything else and it was easy.

Best of luck to you.

More Answers

It sounds like you need to talk to either the ENT you saw or another because you need to get all of the info about this stuff. 2 of my 4 kids have had their adnoids out and they took it way better than i did. I knew they would be find since we have one of the best ENT's out there but my mothers instinct still fretted and worried. I am worried that you are so hesitant to do this surgery...it make s me wonder if your ent bothered explaining why they suggest surgery. You see that rotting smell is actually the infection and his adnoids and / or tonsils rotting or decaying away. My other concern is ... did they not explain that swollen adnoids can block their airways so that they cant breathe properly and / or develope sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is where you stop breathing in or sleep and then gasp for breath and go back to breathing usually after a few seconds to a minute later. My 2 kids had there adnoids removed and 1 also had their tonsils removed. I have also had my tonsils and adnoids removed as of last march and i was so much better that the surgery was a piece of cake. I woke up after surgery thanking my doctor it helped so much in my ssoreness and breathing. I had had sleep apnea since as far back as i can remember and now since that surgery they say i am cured according to my sleep study. i know i sleep better and am not sick all the time. If you are in puyallup and want info on our doctor (ENT) let me know but please get your baby better...He has got to be so icky feeling. Good luck B.

2 moms found this helpful

I understand your hesitant to have the surgery. My son was 1 year and 5 days when he had his adnodis and tonsils taken out and tubs in his ears put in. I was 6 months prego at the time and was a total mess. He had infection afer infection, horriable smelling breath, hard time breathing, always sick, no energy, and constantly in a bad mood. Now that a year and a half has passed since his surgery he has only had 2 infections, which he recovered from very quickly. It has been almost an entire 8 months since his last illness. AMAZING! find a ENT you are comfortable with and really ask lots of questions. Make sure you are getting all the informaion you need. I even secheduled an appointment with out my son there just to ask all the questions I needed answers to. There are a lot of great doctors in the Portland area. We used Legacy Emanual and would recomend any Dr. from the pediatric team. Good luck. I know it is hard to try and put your little one through this but know that there is a good chance that he will come out of it feeling better and be a lot less sick.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T. -

In addition to your ENT I would strongly suggest seeing a chiropractor. My chiro actually can adjust my sinuses when I feel an infection coming on, and I immediately have relief. I can feel the drainage happening in the back of my throat of all the junk that otherwise would have remained blocked up there and gotten infected.
Find a DC who has experience with kids and who can thoroughly answer all your questions. I see Dr. Justin McCormick at Planet Chiropractic in the Mill Creek Town Center, and he has seen all of my kids for 3 years now.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

I go through the samething. My now 7 year old boy had 12 ear infections by the time he was 1 years old, constant sinus infections, strep and even slight sleep apnea. We had him on singular for a couple of years (which helped)and then when had just turned 6 got his tonsils and adnoids removed. This took the sleep apnea away and his breathing is better. Ear infections still everyonce in a while and a sinus infection still pops up now and again, but huge improvement. He does have that smell your talking about when he is mucousy and whew can it knock you over in the mornings.
I would strongly suggest getting the tonsils and adnoids removed when he is young, this isn't going to go away and it wasn't bad. Outpatient surgery, they kept him pain free during recovery and he really bounced back like a trooper. He ate milkshakes, pudding, jello, broths for a a few days. The fist couple days were tough, but not bad. I think I felt worse then he did.
If your really not quite ready yet for surgery (don't put off to long) see if your doc will let you try singular, ooppps he is only 20 months huh.. no singular, but he could do clariton for 2 and under. I have my son on the clariton to help with enviromental allergies.
Hope this helped some.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear T.,

I suggest that you either take him back to the ENT or get a second opinion. The rotting sick smell is definitely not normal and may be a sign of a bacterial infection or overgrowth. Make sure to mention the smell and if you can bring his chew blanket and let the doctor take a whiff - I know it sounds gross, but there are quite a few doctors who have learned to involve ALL of their senses in making a diagnosis.
Generally it would be advisable to get a culture and treat any infection before any surgery, to reduce the risk of potential complications.
If your ENT does not specialize in children, get a referral to a pediatric ENT. A Child's anatomy varies from that of an adult, not just in size and not every doctor is always aware of that.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


I am an indoor air quality specialist and when I read your letter, I imediately thought about something in the home that could be making your son ill. Half of all illnesses are related to indoor environmental pollution.

I have a free survey you can take to try and determine what may be causing your sons sinus issues. Just go to www.normipro.com/02902 and click on the survey box.

I also test indoor environments for contamination so let me know if you would be interested in testing your home.


V. Jolie

1 mom found this helpful

I had a rotting smell from my nose when I was 3, but it was due to me putting teddy bear stuffing up my nose LOL and it being there for over 2 months, and had to get my nose cauterised as a result. If a ENT specialist has had a good look this shouldn't be an issue I guess. Have you tried saline rinses with a neti pot?

My oldest had sinus infections for almost his entire first 18 months. He had his first "cold" at 6 weeks. Regular antibiotics quit working. The infections disappeared as soon as we moved. Turns out our old house had mold issues and our son is allergic to mold and dust. And, yes, he had terrible breath from the infections.

Hope this helps!

Give him 1 tsp of XanGo juice three times a day. All natural antihistamine. Works everytime.

D. Jo

Hi T., I don't have any advice based on the experience with my own children, but with myself. I had terrible infections throughout childhood, several rounds of tympanic tubes in my ears, my tonsils in the winter would swell up so bad that they would touch in the back of my throat, chronic sore throats (I hope I didn't have bad breath too). Anyway, due to a problem my older brother had when he had his tonsils out when he was around 2-3 years old my parents didn't want me to have my tonsils out. It got put off and put off until I couldn't take it anymore and when I was 17 I finally had my tonsils removed. It was a TERRIBLE experience. Because they had been chronically infected they were difficult for the surgeon to remove so surgery was much longer than expected, I lost quite a bit of blood and then my throat was so sore for months after the surgery I only consumed a little bit of food each day and ended up actually fainting in the DMV. Absolutely terrible. As others have said, I would find a good surgeon and get a consult in regards to the problem. I think young children are MUCH BETTER at bouncing back from this type of surgery than older people after years of chronic infection. I also recommend the neti pot, saline nasal spray washes and humidifier. Also going to see an allergist isn't a bad idea either and have him tested. good luck to you!!

Yes when my daughter was little she had lots of ear infections we had tubes in her ears but that did not help and she always had a runny/stuffy nose. After about another year of the ear infections and the nose thing she had her adnoids taken out and was fine. Hope this helps good luck

Hi . I have a almost 2 yr old and a 5 yr. Old. I have been having the same problem with my youngest. His has also gone down into his lungs.they wanted to remove his adenoids removed but then said it wasn't causing the problems. My oldest has very bad smelling breath no matter how much we brush. I have been doing a lot of reading on it all. I did find mold in my house and the landlord did a mold test for me. I am just try to find a doctor that deals in mold infections.


My eight year old has serious sinus issues. Her adenoids were taken out and helped a bit but it didn't solve the entire issue. I was certain she had some sort of allergy that was causing all the mucus but after tests were done she isnt allergic to a thing. The doc believes she is one of those few who just has chronic siusitus. I know what you mean about the bad breath thing though. She always smells sick to me. Some days are worse than others and when she has a lot of mucus she always gets an infection. She is old enough that we have her rinse her sinuses out daily with saline. That has helped more than anything else and it was easy.

Best of luck to you.

My son had similar symptoms and after we had treat him for sinus infections it happened that he is allergic to our cat and that what caused all the problems. Just a thought. Good luck!

My daughter was finally diagnosed with Cryptic Tonsils, which means the tonsils are like a honeycomb with all these crevices and caves where food gets caught and the bacteria that forms is what causes the bad breath. She was having issues with ear infections and the whole sinus thing. She would hack out small little stone type things. Gargling with salt water SEVERAL times per day makes a big difference in cleaning out those cryptic tonsils and keeping her breath more fresh.

Sometimes when the breath is horrible, it's stomach and not mouth issues.

Hi T.
It might be so simple as changing products your using. I rep for a company named Melaleuca and we make products that are green. In the medicine chest line (We are a licensed pharmacy for over the counter medicine chest products) we use Melaleuca oil in alot of products. It could be irrigating his nose with an antiseptic product to clear out any sinus infection could be all that is needed. If you would like more information you are welcome to contact me.
N. B.

Hello T.!

You have already received some good advice here. I have had sinus problems myself and kids who had their tonsils/adenoids removed a year ago. They are older (now, 11) but they had so many issues growing up (always getting colds, stuffiness, throat infections, bad breath, snoring, etc). SInce they got the surgery (sonic (ablattion) with water), they have rarely been sick and no more of the other symptoms. We were referred to a Dr Anifat Balogan in the Greenlake area of Seattle and we had a good experience with her. She specializes in Pediatric ENT, among other things. Here is a link to more info: http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=6&action=detail&am...

I would also suggest making sure your son's sleeping environment is condusive to healthy sinuses. We have a humidifier/air filter when the forced air heat is on. I also recommend saline spray in the nostrils before bedtime. This helps keep the sinuses moist and draining properly. The neti pot is the same idea but I find it difficult to do that on a small child. The saline spray (available everywhere) is much easier. I hope this helps and good luck!

A. :)

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