Allergies or Sinus Infection??????

Updated on November 25, 2010
S.V. asks from Anaheim, CA
15 answers

Hello mamas!!! Back in the beginning of October my 3 years old son started getting a mostly wet cough that leasted 2 weeks. I took him to the doctor and they said because it has lasted so long its most likely a sinus infection-given 14 days of antibiotics. Cough was gone in 3-4 days but he started getting a stuffy nose. He ONLY gets stuffy when he is relaxing-in his carseat a few minutes into the drive he will start sniffing. Before bed-completely fine, about 2 books in, starts sniffing, wakes up stuffy in the Am and during naps. We also started him on Zyrtek at night to see if it was allergies. After day 14 on antiobitics still with the stuffiness, went back to a different doctor-she recommended more antiobiotics and allergy testing (blood) Gave those for 10 days and even switched to claratin thinking maybe the zyrtek wasnt helping. After 24 days of antiobiotics-we finially got into his regular doctor-only slight high for mold on the allergy test, but nothing major-doctor prescribed Childrens Sudafed for 5 days, but give it in the AM only. No change. Went to an allergist yesterday-she seems to think this is just a LONG sinus infection and gave us an allergy nose spray that has a steriod in it-I am drawing a blank on the name right now, which costs $60!-and said use for 2 weeks and if that doesnt help go for an X-ray of his sinuses, which might not show much. We were putting Vicks on him when he would wake up during the night, but I dont want to do it every night, and all this medication in his tiny system is driving me crazy. Help!!! He has gotten a little better but naps are the same. Any suggestions would help. Thanks! We have also tried nose rinses, a humidifier, and I tried to clean the house as much as I could. One last thing-he does have some food allergies-peanut and egg. And this is not just at our house-at school and at families houses too so I dont believe its something in our house that is triggering it.

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answers from Los Angeles on

There are a lot of things going on. His system may be overwhelmed. This may be 1 thing to try. If you think they are seasonal allergies give him 1 tsp. RAW LOCAL honey. everyday. His immune system should build up the histamine blockers internally so he is not affected. You can put it on toast, in a smoothie or take it by the spoonful. If this does not work, it is not seasonal allergies.

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answers from Nashville on

I have had some similar problems with my 1 year old. I have tried some of the things you have as well. We ended up finding a wonderful and natural fix. We started going to a pediatric certified chiropractor. After a couple painless and tear free adjustments he was like a new kid and doesn't need any type of medicine or antibiotic. We still use the humidifier at night-with the vicks scent pads so we don't have to put vicks on his skin. If you are interested you can find a chiropractor certified in pediatric techniques at Just search on the left column for a doctor certified in the webster technique.

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answers from New York on

Sinus infections actually take a long time to heal, in part because they have so many surfaces and a constant reinnoculation. 30 days on Ab is good. make usre you give your kid some yogurt to get some good flora back into the gut. Also saline spray into the nose is really good for nixing strep. (strep doesnot like salt) keeping the sinus moist and rinsing dirt particals out. If he has not had it already, ask for bloodwork, to rule out some other more insidious thing...

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answers from Sacramento on

Wow, what a long road. What I can tell you is that if it's Rhinocort that's the nasal allergy medicine, that should do the trick. I had severe allergies and my insurance plan only covered that medication and fortunately, it cleared it all right up when nothing else would. I seem to recall it took a few days, maybe a week, before I noticed any difference. Hopefully it will work the same for him!

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answers from Las Vegas on

Sounds exactlylike my house-we started in Oct with my 3 yr old-started breathing txs was not getting better went back to ped-Double ear infection-went back 2 wks later for recheck-not better-another round of antibiotics-breaks out in hives-ear inf goes away-still runy nose and a horrible cough-going to an allergist on Mon for testing still as of now he is the same a swhen he started. So we will see.Sorry have no help for you just wanted to say u r not alone :( Hope they all get better quickly L.:)



answers from Indianapolis on

Ask the docs about reflux, it can come up so high that it gives you a stuffy nose. Just a thought...



answers from Tulsa on

The Claritin and Zurtec can dry him out terribly so always try half doses. J had horrible bloody noses when he took it.

To my way of thinking:

If it's runny and the eyes are watery, dripping nose, clear goo only, no coughing, it's allergies.

If it's thick, colored, smelly breath,coughing up colored stuff, may need an antibiotic.

It they are having stuffy nose the REAL Sudafed, from the family style Pharmacy, not Wal_greens or Wal-Mart, REAL Sudafed will help with that. It will also help with the allergy reactions because the nasal mucus is runnier and it will wash the allergens away quicker.

I would think an ENT would have done a sinus X-RAY first visit, plus be able to say for sure if the allergy testing was valid. If he had any allergy medicine in his system for a week before the testing he did not have an accurate test. The allergy medicine did not allow the allergen to cause him to react.

When I did allergy testing the allergy doc told me no antihistamines for at least 8 days before testing. I reacted to 74 out of 80 things I was tested for. The tobacco swatch on my back reacted and swelled up to about 6" across.
I only had 17 things tested again on my arms, where they put a tiny amount under the skin, and almost everyone of those reacted.


answers from Dover on

Sounds like he may have allergies which can lead to a sinus infection. If he is having allergy like symptoms with no other symptoms it is probably allergies. If there is a fever with it, a sinus infection may have developed because of the allergies.



answers from Los Angeles on

Has he had any scans done on his sinus'? After this long it sounds like a good idea!



answers from Milwaukee on

Sounds like our house and our son.

We are going thru pretty much exactly the same thing-we are on R6 of antib's since August. We see an ENT next week. I would see about the allergy scratch test instead of bloodwork-and push for seeing an ENT.

Does he have down pillows or a comforter? An air purifier could also help, but I'm guesing you are going to have to find the source too.

Good luck.

Oh-and allergies can turn into sinus infections-that is what happens in our family-my son and husband always get SI's when it's allergy season.



answers from Portland on

I suggest that his nasal passages may be irritated by all that you've done. I suggest that you give it a rest and do nothing for a month and see what happens.

I've had a stuffy nose and dry cough ever since I can remember. I use the generic form of Rhinocort, fluticasone propionate, nasal spray which noticeably helps. I've also used Sudafed, the original version and it helps sometimes but not others. I have many food and environmental allergies as proven thru testing. But I'm also sensitive to some things and not actually allergic.

I suggest that your son could be sensitive to something in those areas. I would wash his bedding and car seat cover in a scent free detergent. One cannot test for sensitivities to such things as scents. If you use room or car deodorizers or scents I'd stop those.

He may sleep more comfortably if you raise the head of his bed, use a wedge or multiple pillows so that his head is higher and mucous can drain more easily.

I also suggest giving him probiotics to improve his immune system and his body's ability to handle stress.

I suggest that there comes to a point that you just stop trying to figure it out. When my life started with this difficulty we didn't have all the medical opportunities we have now and I just learned to live with it. I suggest that these symptoms can go away on their own and if not he'll adjust and deal with them if you don't focus on them.



answers from San Diego on

I feel for you and your son. He must be so ready to feel better and you must be frustrated and wanting him to be OK too. He has been through a lot and it sounds like the well-intentioned doctors are trying to help him, but I find it concerning that he has been on so many medications, especially at such a young age. My son has had allergies for as long as I can remember and I stopped going to our doctor and specialists because I felt that we were not solving the problem. Instead, we were masking the symptoms. I wanted the trouble shooting to end. I started taking my son to a chiropractor and he has improved by leaps and bounds, without medications. Because our chiropractor is also a holistic doctor (osteopath, cranial osteopath, homeopath, and herbalists) we also get the benefit of knowing exactly in what vitamins and minerals he is deficient. My son's immune system is stronger than ever. I see situations where, before we changed to our current doctor, his allergies would have been off the charts, yet he is fine, with very little to no reactions. I feel so blessed to have found this natural and healthy solution for my child.

I hope our experience helps you. Take care and best wishes.



answers from Boston on

why not do a skin test they are more accurate then a blood test. My little guy is like this he has no environmental allergies but all heck breaks loose if he does not take zyrtec every day. He battled sinus infections last year from sept-may and it has started again this fall :( He gets real bad in Feb and requires a nasal spray. We got a pellet stove this year and he does seem to not be as bad as last year I really think he had a big problem with oil heat. Mold is big problem in lots of schools so if he has problems at school I wouldn't think twice that its the mold bothering him there. You can split the dose of zyrtec or claritin in half and give half in the morning and half at night it might work better for him.



answers from Honolulu on

Poor little man, having so much medication!! I am sorry that you are having such a hard time. I would suggest you try to find some alternative therapists, because the "western style" doctors don't seem to be helping! My daughter had chronic cold/stuffy, cough, etc for a few months and her pediatrician was of little help (medicine with no relief), so I tried going to a naturopath. He diagnosed the problem as her GUT being out of balance. After a few weeks on natural supplements to fix her tummy bacteria balance, she was really really good. It doesn't hurt to try!



answers from Honolulu on

If it is a sinus infection (my husband gets those), it can take time to go away completely. Or it can be exacerbated by allergies.
My Husband... uses a nasal flush "neti pot." Which doctors even recommend. And it helps a great deal.... for sinus health and keeping colds away....
But your son may be too young to use that....

The nasal cavity.. is even hard to 'see' just from looking up the nose...
and a 'cough' can be due to the post-nasal drip.... down the throat.... too.

But yes, seeing a Specialist is good.

Sinus infections.... causes inflammation, mucous and post-nasal drip... but so does allergies....
and it may or may not be connected always.

Or, sometimes changes in temperature can do it too....

all the best,

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