What Are the Common Causes of Sinus Pain in Children?

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A sinus infection may develop after an upper respiratory infection (URI) or a typical cold. The URI irritates the nasal passages, obstructing the entry of the paranasal sinuses and resulting in an infection. Allergies can also result in sinusitis as nasal tissues swell and mucus production increases.

Here are the common causes to better understand sinus pain in children.

1. Respiratory Infections

The most common cause of a sinus infection is a respiratory infection. Respiratory infections are challenging to recover from, and they often result in sinusitis. The condition causes the sinuses to swell and become inflamed, which restricts the flow of air and mucus drainage.

2. Allergies

Allergies may not only cause seasonal sinus pressure and Congestion, but they may also trigger a sinus infection. With seasonal allergies, the sinuses are generally runny and inflamed. However, food allergies may also lead to sinusitis, primarily if the allergy affects the nasal passages.

3. Structural Issues

Nasal polyps and deviated septums are two structural issues leading to sinusitis. These conditions result in a lot of congestion and mucus, and they are caused by chronic inflammation.

An anatomical abnormality may also cause fluid and mucus to accumulate in the sinus cavity. For instance, a deviated nasal septum occurs when the nasal septum is not straight, preventing the proper drainage of mucus and air, resulting in sinusitis.

4. Drug-related

Prescription drugs, particularly decongestants, can increase the risk of developing a sinus infection. Decongestants can cause mucus discharge, which may result in a sinus infection.

5. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ, is a pain disorder in the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. TMJ is commonly caused by teeth grinding or clenching, but it may also result from jaw clenching or head injury. Sinus pain may occur with TMJ, as the joint may require surgery to correct the problem.

6. Nasopharynx Cancer

Nasopharynx cancer may lead to sinus pain if it is located in the sinuses. Tumors may also invade the sinuses.

The Common Symptoms of Sinusitis in Children

1. Pain around the Face

Children may experience pain in the face, typically around the nose and cheeks. This pain may worsen during the night and improve during the day.

2. Congestion

Congestion is a common symptom of sinusitis. The pain and congestion may get worse when the child is sleeping.

3. Sore Throat

More than a week of sore throat may be a sinus infection symptom. A sinus infection can cause the throat to become dry and irritated. The sore throat may last 2-3 weeks.

4. Nasal Discharge

A child may have a continuous or periodic nasal discharge, clear, yellow, or green.

5. Fever and Shivers

A sinus infection may also result in a fever. The child may also complain of feeling cold.

6. Sleeping Problems

Children with sinusitis have sleeping problems trying to breathe through the nose. Most of them have difficulty falling asleep; they wake up with a stuffed nose and wake up at night.

7. Dizziness

A child who has sinus pressure may experience dizziness or vertigo.


Infection usually causes sinus pain in children. The most common cause of sinus infections in children is a viral or bacterial infection, either from a URI or allergies. Sinus pain in children may be treated with medication and medicated nasal spray. If a child has chronic sinus problems, nasal surgery may be recommended.

Needing urgent care for kids in Orlando, FL? Contact Your Kids Urgent Care now! We offer superior and convenient urgent care pediatric services to all children who enter our offices.

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