Symptoms include chronic nasal discharge and acute sinusitis (rare in young children).

Mucus in the nose is there to trap things coming in, and drains down the throat. The sinuses in cheeks and forehead drain into the nose. In PCD the cilia do not move the mucus properly so it can get infected. If the nose is blocked it can lead to the sinuses getting infected. Sinuses develop as children grow which is why it is not a problem with small children.

What can be done?

Saline sprays can be helpful in clearing mucus. E.g. Sterimar. It can be used in the morning to help clear mucus that has gathered in the night, and may last half a day. Steroid nasal sprays, e.g. Flixonase are supposed to reduce nasal discharge; its effectiveness needs to be studied. In a case of recurrent sinusitis, the infected mucus in the sinuses can be removed surgically.

Additional points about ENT issues:

  • Scuba diving deeper than 5 metres is not recommended.
  • The amount of steroid in the nasal spray is very small and is safe in children. The child should have regular height and weight checks anyway.
  • Ear wax is not normally a cause of hearing loss and can be kept down by using the drops for wax such as Sodium Bicarbonate found in the chemist shop.

Case Study