What is the runny nose?

A runny nose, or rhinitis, is known primarily to parents of preschoolers. This symptom is an infamous synonym for childhood, which, however, is relatively easy to deal with. However, for this to succeed, it is necessary to know what caused it.

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1. Viruses on the attack

Viruses are the most common cause of rhinitis. These pathogens spread very quickly, so contamination is easy. Viral runny nose is characterized by a watery discharge that later becomes mucous (white). Your baby's nose may be swollen and red. The body fights microbes, so a runny nose may be accompanied by high fever (up to 40 degrees Celsius).

In the course of viral infections, pharyngitis and conjunctivitis may appear. The child is sleepy, lethargic and may refuse to eat. A stuffy nose, in turn, makes breathing difficult.

Nasal Cleansing (123RF)

Viral infections are common, especially in young children. Most often they pass after a few days. And how to deal with them?

If your child has a runny nose, it is imperative to clean his nose. If it is clogged, the toddler cannot breathe freely, and in the case of the youngest - even eat (then sucking the breast is very difficult, sometimes even impossible).

If the runny nose is watery, the child may be given drops in the nose to decongest the mucosa. However, they must not be used for more than three days.

The nose will also be cleared by inhalations. Drinking a raspberry or linden infusion can be a support for the body - drinks warm up, support immunity and soothe symptoms associated with infection.

If the preschooler only has a runny nose, it is not necessary to go to the pediatrician immediately. However, an appointment will be necessary when the nasal discharge turns purulent, the child becomes feverish or visibly unwell.

In the case of infants, rhinitis requires medical consultation.

2. When bacteria attack

The course of bacterial infection is more serious. The runny nose is then purulent - it is a white-yellow or greenish, dense discharge. It is often accompanied by fever, weakness and lack of appetite.

Such a symptom should prompt a parent to see a doctor, especially if it occurs in a child under one year of age. In the case of the youngest, a bacterial infection can quickly lead to the development of bronchitis or pneumonia.

After examining your baby, your pediatrician may decide to start antibiotics.

A thick runny nose requires frequent moistening of the nasal mucosa, e.g. with a solution of sea water.

3. Or is it an allergy?

Runny nose is also a common symptom of allergy, usually associated with conjunctivitis. In this case, the discharge is very watery and the nose is red. In addition, the child may sneeze frequently.

Allergic rhinitis is most often diagnosed during the pollen season (in spring and summer), although it happens that it occurs off-season. It may then indicate an allergy to house dust mites or animal hair.

Treatment of allergic rhinitis should follow the indications of an allergist. It is also necessary to identify the allergen. Skin allergy tests, which are usually performed on children over three years of age, will help in this.

4. Chronic runny nose

Nasal discharge is always a symptom of pathology. It requires diagnosis and treatment. However, there are times when a child has a stuffy nose for many months. It may be accompanied by a purulent runny nose. Problems of this kind lead to infections because the air reaching the body is not cleaned properly.

Therefore, if a preschooler has a runny nose almost constantly, it is worth consulting an ENT specialist. This may be due to congenital defects in the sinus openings, a deviated nasal septum, or an enlarged third tonsil. Some of these problems require correction in the operating room.

5. The way to runny nose

If a child has a cold and the infection is accompanied by a runny nose, it can be relieved by inhaling saline. For older children, inhaling marjoram, sage or chamomile infusions may help. This treatment has a cleansing and disinfecting effect, and at the same time it will clear a stuffy nose and facilitate breathing.

It is also important to properly moisten the rooms in the house. It is important that the temperature in the apartment fluctuates around 19-20 degrees Celsius. The cooler it is, the better the baby will breathe.

The nose should also be regularly cleaned of secretions deposited in it.

A runny nose may last for several days or several weeks. It all depends on its nature and the factor that caused it.

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