5 Yr Old w/Chronic Sinus Infections or Asmtha?!?! or WHAT...

Updated on October 29, 2011
M.B. asks from Middleport, NY
12 answers

May be long... But have been dealing w/my son whom is 5 yrs old now w/sinus infections for 3 yrs now!! Its to the point he doesnt have his adnoids or tonsoils.. He is on 4 meds now everyday (Flonase - 2x a day, Flovent - 2xs a day, Claritin & Singular.. (Albuterol as needed & it doesnt help him when we use it just makes him more hyper) He used to be on 7!!!! He will start off w/a boogier nose so we blow & keep it as clean as we can then about a week to 2 weeks later a cough.. Cough gets worse as the days go on & when he is running around or if he is crying for some reason. To the point sometimes he pukes up mucus.. So then he is put on a anitbotic. ( 2 yrs ago he was on antibotic every month before the adnoids & tonsils were removed).. But now the ENT doc is like I dont know & sending us back to see the Lung Specalist (whom sent us to the ENT doc) cause the Lung doc didnt think it was his lungs or asmtha but the ENT doc does.. We have seen allergy specalist also & did blood work to see if he is allergic to anything & no.. BUT he is sick now since the 25th of Sept just got off a antibotic on Monday & isnt better.. The cough is better but not the nose & we saw the ENT doc yester & he just blew us off like he cant guess anymore & off to another doc.. These doctors are from our Childrens Hospital also.. I dont smoke in my house so he isnt around that.. HAS anyone dealt with all of this & or anyone know what could be wrong w/him cuz it effects him playing & we couldnt play soccer at the Ymca last month cause of his cough being soo bad.. BUT the cough doesnt just start anytime only after he has had a boogier nose .. Im just tired & wish he could be a kid :( Thanks to whomever

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answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds so much like my nephew, who is now 10. No smoking around him either, yet he was constantly sick from the time he was about 9 months old, nose running, coughing, gagging on thick mucus, etc. The doctor said it was viral infections, which antibiotics do nothing to help, and he was just more susceptible to them than most of us. Since we all build up resistance to antibiotics the more we take them she was hesitant to prescribe them unless absolutely necessary. My sister also was an antibacterial fanatic at the time, the doctor told her to stop using antibacterial cleaner everywhere and everyday, go easy on the antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, that he needed to be exposed to germs to build up immunity to them.

He's been on Zyrtec since he was 11 months old for his allergies, and developed asthma, I don't know if it was due to all the viral infections or vice versa, and is actually home sick today for the 3rd day this week with a cough that will not go away. He had been sick with what seemed like a mild cold, but it seems the mucus has lodged, causing the cough, again. BTW, he also has not been able to play organized sports, his doctor won't release him to play, so has taken up Tae Kwon Do which he loves.

I know it's hard, and I don't have any specific advise, I just wanted you to know that other moms and children go through this, and it's the pits ~ {{HUGS}}

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answers from Honolulu on

Sinus infections:
are hard to get rid of.
Can linger and linger causing other illnesses.
It needs antibiotics at this point.
Things like Flonase and Claritin/Singluair/Albuterol... does NOT NOT NOT, get rid of infection. It targets symptoms.
NOT the infection.

Sinus infections, can also cause, chest/lung infections. Because, the post-nasal drip, can lead into the lungs. Then lung illness will occur or even Pneumonia. It causes mucus and coughing etc.
Young children, CANNOT spit out mucus effectively. Hence it builds up... and hence they throw up. Because of the accumulation... of mucus in their throat.

If one antibiotic does not work. Then another family of antibiotics needs to be used.

Claritin/Singulair is an antihistamine.
Flovent, is a nasal spray, steroidal based, that helps INFLAMMATION of the passages. And helps in the mucus secretions etc.
Albuterol: is a Bronchodilator. It is used for Asthma. It is NOT a mucus medicine and will not reduce mucus. It is used for, opening up the airways in the lungs. Because, if the airways are inflamed, it is constricted and thus the person cannot breath. I know this, because I have Asthma. AND yes, it can make some people more hyper. It MUST be used, as directed. And not taken more than the directions state. Or you will be taking in too much.

A Pulmonologist, is a Lung Doctor. This would be for Asthma. For example.
An ENT, is not a Pulmonologist.

A cough can be caused by:
1) Sinus infections/post-nasal drip
2) Lung based problems
3) or both
SO, the origin of his cough... NEEDS to be, pinpointed. THEN the appropriate Doctor can be seen and him treated.

Asthma... can be caused by many things. For example:
1) air quality in the home or outside
2) pollen
3) pollution
4) foods
5) stress
6) exercise
7) weather/cold air
8) lung weakness
9) pets
10) dust
Or a combination of all of these

Now, you did not say... if his breathing... is impaired or not????? Or if he is wheezing.
Only that he coughs, has sinus infections and mucus.

In children, Asthma... displays different symptoms than an adult would.

I would see, a Pulmonologist, as well. To explore all options.

I have had Asthma since I was a child, and allergies to generally anything in the air. And I am familiar with all of the medications, you listed per your son.

And, getting rid of his adnoids and tonsils... did not help him.

If your son is able to, use a "Neti Pot" which is a nasal rinse. But it must be used as directed. It will flush out the nasal cavity. Both my Husband and daughter use this when they have sinus issues. My daughter could use it since she was 3 years old.

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answers from San Antonio on

Has he been seen by an allergist? My son was constantly sick until we discovered his allergy and removed it from our house.

Also, I have a friend who's son's sinuses were so impacted that they looked "clear" on a CT scan...but actually were so full of infection and "stuff" that the solid color "clear" scan was solid infection. He had his head drained with a surgery and could breathe free and really smell for the first time in like his whole life. She went through several ENTs before finding one that found the problem.

Good luck!!

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answers from New York on

You need to find a way to deal with it without all those antibiotics. I just found out the hard way that antibiotics make you susceptible to something called C-diff (google that) It's a terrible disease, I spent four days in hospital and another week in bed and a few more weeks feeling crappy on a brat diet.
I used to have monthly sinus infections. What worked for me was cutting all yeast and dairy out of my diet. I read the labels on everything and they add yeast extract to SO many things canned soup, soup broth etc.,frozen foods, prepared foods, spice mixes, soup mixes, dip mixes. It's so worth trying to fix this thru diet!

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answers from New York on

I am by no means any type of expert on this. But I do remember my ped saying that constant sinus issues are commonly linked to dairy allergies. And I think I read that, in order to eliminate, you need to read ingredients, as things like casein proteins are derived from cows milk. Also, I know this sounds totally weird and you live in NY, but I have an amazing ped who is old school and can sPot problems and untangle, figure things out. It might be worth a drive for a visit? Just message me if you want his contact info. Good luck.

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answers from Omaha on

I agree all nasal sprays are not created equal. Rhinocort is my absolute fave, but my insurance hiked up the price so now I use flonase. It works ok for me, but my allergies are not as bad as others. My mom uses Veramist and it works well for her. She swears by doing nasal rinses. I am not sure if your son is old enough to do something like that. My mom's sinus doctor told her everyone should rinse their nose daily (like brushing teeth) because there is just as much bacteria in the nose as the mouth.
Have you checked about acid reflux maybe? A few months ago I was having this wheezy cough that just would not go away. After a round of antibiotics it still didn't clear up. I was worried that the new home we just moved into was harboring animal hair (from the previous owner's pets) that was causing my problem. Lo and behold my doctor said it was more likely acid reflux. Never in a million years would I have ever thought AR would produce asthmatic type symptoms, but she was right. A little prilosec cleared it right up.
So look deeper into allergy related culprits and acid reflux to see if that might be causing the problem. Hope this helps and your little guy gets some relief. How awful for him!!



answers from Dallas on

You may want to have his yeast level checked out. When yeast gets out of control (which they will do if antibiotics are used frequently) it can cause chronic infections. If it's a yeast issue, yeast feeds on sugar so take your child off of sugar and have a doc prescribe a yeast killer such as diflucan or nystatin.



answers from Seattle on

Oy vey... we do the 'mystery respiratory' thing around here, as well. Knock wood, things for the past 2 months seem to be settling, but we still don't have a 'name' for what happens. Just what happens.

I've gotten a *massive* crash course in pulmonology these past few months.

From your description, I can think of about 20 different things that they sypmtoms 'fit', but that's true for my son, as well (different 20... my son gets atelectasis, bilateral pleural effusions, bronchiospasm -controllable and uncontrollable-, and pneumonia as his "big 4" and then a bunch of ancillary symptoms).

Sooooooo many systems and subsystems come into play when there are respiratory issues if it's not cut and dried "Oh, it's THIS."

- Pulmonology
- Allergy
- Cardiology
- Rheumtology
- Immunology
... one ends up seeing a LOT of specialists.

It can take a WHILE to figure out either what's going on, or what works to treat it, or (ideally) both.

The cough could be a transmitted infection (from sinuses post nasal drip into his lungs... and that can be bacterial, viral, OR fungal)... it could be a secondary infection from weakened immune system, it could be an imflammatory response, it could be, it could be, it could be....

Yeah. It just takes a WHILE to sort all the could be's but are nots.

When something isn't working and you're at home; DO tell them. OTW they're going to assume it's working or improving.

Hugs. This can be a bumpy, infuriating, exhausting ride.



answers from Portland on

Perhaps he needs help with his immune system. Does he have a healthy diet of varied foods? Is he taking a multi-vitamin? It might help to add probiotics to his regime. Focus on building up his immune system.



answers from New York on

My first thought was allergies. Did the allergist do a skin test or just blood work? My daughter is allergic to several environmental things. She takes Xyzal & Singulair daily and uses Rhinocort when needed. (We tried a bunch of other nasal sprays and none of them helped except for Rhinocort - just because your son might be using a nasal spray doesn't mean it's working). We've also had good luck with plain saline nose spray (drug store cheap stuff). That alone will help with my daughter's allergies. Believe it or not, just washing out the nasal passages helps quite a bit. You can do this daily to see if it will help - it shouldn't hurt anything.
Anyway, my daughter also has asthma but I find that keeping the allergies under control helps keep the asthma under control. I'd also fine an allergist who would check for food related allergies - there are so many. Best of luck to you.


answers from Dover on

My daughter, my son, and myself has similiar yet less severe of the same thing you describe. Both my daughter (almost 5) and I are diagnosed with allergies (her with "pre-asthma and me w/ allergy induced asthma). My son's symptoms are less severe but I suspect some mild allergies but since he's 20, he needs to decide when/if to get tested. His symptoms seem to be worse since going to college so I am sure he is around more dust and other triggers than he was while 100% at home.

My girl started with multiple sinus infections and sinus headaches over the last yr and a half. Then after a bad bought of bronchitis/clinical pnemonia, we got her relatively healthy and had to have allergy testing. She starts with no symptoms and goes from fine in the am to very croopy by mid afternoon. Claritin, Singulair, and Flonase daily. Eye drops and breathing treatments as needed.

It's hard when they sound as bad as they do.



answers from Jamestown on

My 5 year old went through the same thing. She's allergic to pretty much everything on the first panel and we live in an area that has"D: all of the above" on that panel. She had tubes put in her ears last year and her tonsils and adenoids removed over this Summer. She's currently on Singular in the mornings, Zyrtec in the afternoon, and Benadryl for the really bad days. She has an upper respiratory infection right now because we went from 58 degrees on Wednesday to 26 on Thursday...now it's snowing.

I find that boiling a pan of water with Vick's on the stove works and she has a humidifier in her room over night..I add a capful of bleach in the water.

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