Children who get frequent infections, such as ear infections, sinusitis or pneumonia, may have a more severe condition called immunodeficiency, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Patients who have immunodeficiency have infections that usually do not go away without using antibiotics and often recur within one or two weeks after antibiotic treatment is completed. These patients frequently need many courses of antibiotics each year to stay healthy. There are several forms of immunodeficiency and while some are very severe and life-threatening, many are milder but still important enough to cause recurrent or severe infections.
People with immunodeficiency get the same kinds of infections that other people get—ear infections, sinusitis and pneumonia. The difference is their infections occur more frequently, and are often more severe, and have a greater risk of complications.
Allergist/immunologists often use the frequency of the use of antibiotics to mark the frequency of significant infections. General guidelines for determining if a patient may be experiencing too many infections are:
- The need for more than four courses of antibiotic treatment per year in children or more that two times per year in adults.
- The occurrence of more than four new ear infections in one year after four years of age.
- The development of pneumonia twice over any time.
- The occurrence of more than three episodes of bacterial sinusitis in one year or the occurrence of chronic sinusitis.
- The need for preventive antibiotics to decrease the number of infections.
- Any unusually severe infection or infections caused by bacteria that do not usually cause problems in most people at the patient’s age.
If your child has any of these conditions, consult with an allergist/immunologist for more information on recurrent infections, immunodeficiency, proper diagnosis and treatments. It is important to see the right physician. The physicians at Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology have extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of patients with immunodeficiency.
If you have questions concerning immunodeficiency please contact Rocky Mountain Allergy at 801-775-9800 or visit Rockymountainallergy.com.