In our last blog, we discussed “Sinusitis in Children” and listed swelling around the eyes as one of the tell-tale symptoms. In this blog, we are going to look at another way sinus issues manifest: black eyes, also known as allergic shiners. If this concept sounds familiar, it may be because you read our blog a while back called “Knocked Out by Allergies: Allergic Shiners.”
We also know that as a parent, seeing your little one with what looks like a black eye can be quite distressing, especially if you don’t know where it came from or how to make it go away. You may think they aren’t getting enough sleep or worse, that they’ve been injured. But really, allergic shiners are an extremely common condition in children with chronic nasal congestion, and while they are technically called “allergic” shiners, they could just as well be called “sinus” shiners. (The latter rolls off the tongue better, no?)
According to Healthline, the discoloration caused by sinusitis looks like:
Round, shadowy pigmentation of the skin underneath the eyes
- Blue- or purple-colored tint under the eyes, like a bruise
Allergic shiners happen when congestion in the sinus cavities causes the small veins under the eyes to expand and the blood that runs through them to pool. The pooling, in turn, makes the thin skin in that area turn darker and the inflammation makes it puffy. Unlike a bruise, the discoloration usually isn’t painful, but the congestion in the sinus cavities around it may produce pain and pressure.