Children's Rhinology (Nose and Sinus) Tests and Treatments

If your child has nosebleeds, excess mucus, or other sinonasal symptoms, we can help.

The Rhinology Clinic at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh offers advanced tests and treatments for all types of nose and sinus conditions.

Many of our surgeries are so highly specialized that other children's rhinology clinics don't offer them.

Your doctor will explain each test and treatment option, including how to prep your child and what to expect during and after.

Contact The Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at UPMC Children's

  • Call 412-692-5460 to make an appointment.

Tests for Diagnosing Your Child's Nose and Sinus Condition

For your convenience, we offer in-office tests at your child's 1st appointment.

These include allergy skin tests and nasal endoscopy.

Skin testing for allergic rhinitis (hay fever)

Common triggers of hay fever or seasonal allergies include:

  • Pollen from weeds, grass, or trees.
  • Dust mites.
  • Animal dander.
  • Mold spores.
  • In rare cases, food allergies can trigger hay fever.

The Rhinology Clinic at UPMC Children's Hospital offers skin testing to pinpoint the cause of seasonal allergies.

Your child's in-office allergy test: how to prep and what to expect

One week before the test, your child should avoid drugs that have antihistamines. This helps make sure the test is accurate.

Before the skin test, your doctor will ask you and your child questions to learn possible sources. For example, the doctor may ask if you have a pet or what times of year symptoms occur.

During the test, the doctor will prick your child's skin to place tiny amounts of the allergens just below its surface. The doctor will use samples of allergens most likely to be the cause of your child's symptoms.

If your child is allergic to any of the compounds, a small red welt will form on the skin within 20 minutes. This spot may be itchy but doesn't hurt, and it will go away in a few days.

Nasal endoscopy testing

The Rhinology Clinic at UPMC Children's uses nasal endoscopy to diagnose:

  • Chronic sinusitis.
  • Hay fever.
  • Nasal tumors.
  • Anatomic nasal problems.
  • Other nose and sinus conditions.

Your child's in-office nasal endoscopy: what to expect

A nasal endoscope is a tiny flexible tube with a light and camera on it.

During the test, your doctor will insert the tube into your child's nostril and pass it through the nose to the sinuses. The doctor can then view a magnified video of the nasal passage and sinuses.

The test isn't usually painful but can feel uncomfortable. For this reason, your doctor will numb the area before inserting the tube.

The procedure takes about 10 minutes.

Through a nasal endoscopy, our experts can:

  • Recognize both common and rare nose and sinus conditions.
  • Build a treatment plan based on the type of and how severe your child's condition.

Treatments for Your Child's Nose and Sinus Condition

We treat rhinology conditions with drugs, lifestyle changes (such as avoiding allergic triggers), surgery, or a mix of these.

Medicine for nose and sinus problems

Your child's PCP often won't prescribe the medications we offer at the Rhinology Clinic, as they require special training.

We prescribe oral and intranasal drugs and allergy shots for chronic sinusitis and hay fever. In many cases, they will resolve your child's nasal or sinus condition with time.

Nose and sinus surgery

Our surgeon has expert training and skill in nasal and sinus surgeries in children. And our clinic staff helps to provide safe and pain-free surgeries in kids of all ages.

Types of surgery we offer include:

  • Septoplasty straightens the bone between the nostrils. This surgery helps improve your child's breathing and reduce sinus infections.
  • Turbinate reduction reduces the size of small bone structures in the nose covered with mucosa (turbinates). This surgery helps improve airflow.
  • Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is a minimally invasive technique to remove infected sinus tissue that doesn't respond to treatment.
  • Skull base surgery removes tumors or masses at the base of the skull. The surgeon inserts surgical tools through the nose.
  • Repair of choanal atresia or stenosis treats an anatomical narrowing at the back of the nasal cavity.
  • Repair of pyriform aperture stenosis treats a rare birth defect that causes a narrowing in the front opening of the nose.
  • Excision of nasal lacrimal duct cysts removes cysts that grow in tear ducts.