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Nasal Obstruction In Children: Why You Might Worry?

Nasal Obstruction In Children: Why You Might Worry?

Nasal obstruction in children is a common cause for an ENT consultation. While older children can communicate how they feel, in the case of infants, families need to keep a close eye for symptoms such as snoring, obstruction and rhinorrhea. Nasal obstruction in infants could be visible right after birth when the mother notices issues while feeding the baby. Older children would experience noisy breathing and mouth breathing. It is important that parents have their children with such symptoms consulted by an ENT doctor.

What Is Nasal Obstruction?

The nasal passage starts from the nostril to the back of the throat. Nasal obstruction is referred to as a complete or partial blockage in either of the air passages. Nasal obstruction isn’t a disease but directs towards an underlying disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of Nasal Obstruction In Children?

Infants who have nasal obstruction show signs right after birth. Any blockage in the nasal passage demonstrates difficulty in breathing and noisy breathing. While feeding too, there is difficulty when there is a nasal obstruction. In addition, infants cry more as this helps with breathing as crying facilitates movement of air in and out.

Some of the common symptoms include:

Less common symptoms include nose bleeds, headaches, bad breath and pain. It is important to understand the root cause of the nasal blockage. Older children may show chronic mouth breathing and snoring at night. Photos of children who always have their mouth open may be a sign of nasal obstruction.

What Are The Causes Of Nasal Obstruction?

The causes behind a nasal obstruction could be many. Some of the conditions occur due to congenital conditions, while others are acquired later in life. The age when noisy breathing starts too could help to specify the cause. Some causes can include:

How Is Nasal Obstruction Diagnosed?

The ENT specialists use a combination of tests based on the child’s symptoms and medical history. Common tactics for diagnosis include:

Physical examination of the nostrils: The otolaryngologist would do this as the first step.

When Is A Child Referred To an ENT Specialist?

The pediatrician may manage certain cases of the nasal obstruction for ENT conditions, however an ENT specialist is needed to evaluate complex cases. If treatment from the general physician does not help, it is important to seek the help of a specialist.

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