Recurring Respiratory Infections in Children: Can It Be PIDD?

PIDDDoes your child get sick a lot? Does his or her common cold or seasonal allergies often turn into something more serious like bronchitis or pneumonia? Or maybe he or she is prone to ear or sinus infections or multiple instances of strep throat each year.

Whatever it is, you hate to see your child not feeling well, and at the first sign of a problem, it’s off to the doctor’s office. Yet, although the physician gives excellent care and a healthy dose of antibiotics, you find that your child doesn’t respond to the treatment as well as you hoped.

If this is the case, it’s possible that you’re missing the whole picture: Your child may have a primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD). While this sounds like a very scary diagnosis, with awareness, monitoring and appropriate treatment, your child can go on to live a perfectly normal life.

PIDD is a genetic condition and is not contagious. Mayo Clinic explains, “Problems in the DNA — the genetic code that acts as a blueprint for producing the cells that make up the human body — cause many of the immune system defects in primary immunodeficiency.” This means that a person born with PIDD is missing some parts of the immune system that fight off infection, therefore making the person more susceptible to illness.

There are over 200 types of deficiencies, each one affecting different parts of the immune system, and cases can vary from so mild that they aren’t detected to others that require more aggressive treatment such as regular doses of antibiotics through an IV. PIDD is usually first diagnosed in children, although it may not be apparent in the very early stages of development.

Diagnosing PIDD involves examining family history and blood tests. If a deficiency is detected, there are many treatments available to minimize your child’s risk for and shorten the period of infection. Medicinal approaches include antibiotics for the infection itself and ibuprofen, decongestants and expectorants to address the symptoms. In some cases, treatments intended to boost the immune system, including immunoglobulin therapy, gamma interferon therapy, and growth factors, are undertaken. In extremely rare and serious cases, stem cell transplantation may be an option.

Fortunately, the majority of PIDD suffers respond well to an aggressive antibiotic routine, and while there is no way to prevent the disorder, Mayo Clinic offers the following tips on how to help prevent infection. In fact, these tips are beneficial to non-PIDD sufferers as well.

  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Take care of your teeth.
  • Eat right.
  • Be physically active.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Manage stress.
  • Avoid exposure.
  • Ask your doctor about vaccinations.

If it sounds like your child may be suffering from primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD), don’t panic. Instead, schedule a consultation with one of our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center to discuss if your child’s recurring sinus conditions, diagnostic options and how we can help.

Call us at 860-BALLOON today. We understand what it’s like to have a child not feeling well, and our patient-centered, individualized treatment will put both you and your child on the path to feeling much better in no time.


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