A stuffy nose is pretty common in children. The viral upper respiratory tract infection or the common cold causes the blockage in the nose, but it gets better with time.
On the other hand, a blocked nose that won’t go away is an alarming sign. The possible causes are:
- Deviated septum
- Nose or sinus growth
- Enlarged adenoids
- Foreign body
- Allergic rhinitis
- Choanal atresia
- Enlarged turbinates
Your children’s doctor will take notes of your kid’s medical history and symptoms. They might also need your child to get examined. The required tests can be:
- Chest x-ray
- Blood tests
- Sputum culture
- Allergy tests
- Sinus x-ray
- CT scan
- Throat culture
After the results are out, the doctor will evaluate them and decide if your child’s symptoms can be handled with noninvasive approaches. If so, the doctor will prescribe medicines like decongestants and antihistamines. If the condition doesn’t improve with medications, the doctors may also prescribe allergy shots to children with acute allergy issues.
You can try out some home remedies as a primary treatment to comfort your child. For example:
- Clear off your baby’s mucus using an aspirator or nasal bulb. You can also use nasal saline but stay away from giving cold medicines to kids less than four years old
- Use a humidifier in the room to add moisture to the air your children breathe. Adding saline nasal drops to the nose is also a good idea
- Give your children about half to one tsp of honey to fix the cough but make sure they are older than one year before you pull this off
- Try to put some petroleum jelly below your kid’s nose to prevent drying out / chapping
- Keep your kids hydrated
Try to avoid smokes like cigarettes since they might be irritating.
It’s very uncomfortable for a kid to live with an aching face and a blocked nose. This can even disturb their sleep pattern and interfere with healthy growth. So, don’t wait around if the blocked nose lasts longer or causes intense pain.
Children tend to get ear infections than adults. They aren’t that fatal and usually get better with time. However, most ear infections include the middle ear. Your child might suffer two types of ear infections: otitis externa and otitis media.
Your child might have hearing problems because of the fluid build-up in their middle ear, which is known as the glue ear. It is medically known as otitis media with effusion.
This happens because the fluid prevents the eardrums from vibrating in the right way. The hearing problem due to this can be mild or severe. In most cases, the condition heals with time by itself. But sometimes, your child might want to get the glue ear treated to decrease the hearing problems.
Here are the symptoms that can help you identify if your children have glue ears:
- Talking in a louder voice than usual
- Having earaches
- Balance issues or clumsiness
- Trouble hearing sounds from a distance
- Asking others to repeat what they said
- Getting distracted when others are talking to your child
- Acting grumpier than usual
If people are smoking in your home, chances are your child will get glue ears. Winter months are the worst for glue ears in children like any other infections.
Take your children to the doctor if you see any alarming symptoms. The doctor will take measures as soon as your child is diagnosed with glue ears. The treatment will include antibiotic drops and sometimes surgery, too, depending on your children’s severity of the glue ear’s.
Grommets are used as a temporary treatment to help improve your child’s glue ear. They allow air into your children’s middle ear and maintain normal ear pressure. The grommets help to reduce the risk of fluid developing in the ear.
The doctor will recommend your child to get grommets if your child is experiencing glue ear that doesn’t go away and repetitive ear infections.
The grommets will stay put for about six to eighteen months and come out on their own.
Children face nose bleeds mostly in their nose’s front part. This portion is the closest to their nostrils and contains several tiny blood vessels that can be injured easily.
Nosebleeding can be intimidating, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. It can be painful or not. Dry climates and cold weather can increase your child’s nose bleeding.
The symptoms of nosebleeding are pretty apparent. Your child can bleed through one or both nostrils.
Sometimes there’s no known cause for nosebleeds, and occasionally several facts can cause nosebleeds like:
- Allergies and colds
- Dry air
- Nose injury
- Foreign object in the nose
- Nose picking
- Nose blowing
Your kid might be frightened seeing the blood, and this can be agitating for them. Here is some first aid that you can try to comfort your child.
Calm them down and assure them that there’s nothing to be worried about. Make your children sit in a comfortable position and start giving them the first aid treatment.
Even if there’s no improvement and the nose is still bleeding after the first aid, consult the doctor or visit the closest hospital emergency room. The doctor will take a look at your child’s nose using light to check the blood vessel that’s bleeding.
The doctor might apply a specific ointment to treat the nosebleeding that helps slow down the blood flow. They might also approach the nosebleeding with cautery, a chemical that’ll burn or freeze the bleeding blood vessel. The doctors use short anesthetics to treat nose bleeding in kids.
Your kids might need to take antibiotics ointments to make sure they get rid of any mild presence of bacterial infection.
However, you need to ensure that you get your children a blood test to see the amount of blood your children lost.
If your children’s nose is bleeding often for longer than a few weeks, get their skin bruised, have nosebleeding in their family history, or pale skin, your GP might refer your kids to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist. They’ll treat your kids with more appropriate treatment.
When you find your children snoring occasionally, it might not be concerning, but if they constantly snore in their sleep, it’s a sign that your children are experiencing breathing problems in their sleep.
If the snoring issue in your child has been going on for a long time, it might indicate that they’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea. If you notice your child gasping, breathing through their mouths, struggling to breathe, or choking, these are enough to prove the obstructive sleep apnoea.
Snoring occurs when there’s a block in the back of our throats, causing limited airflow. Several facts can restrict the airflow. They are:
- Infection or cold
- Enlarged tonsils
- Enlarged adenoids
If the snoring isn’t severe and occurs once in a while, you can try the following home remedies and comfort your children:
- Put a humidifier in your child’s bedroom to help them ease their stuffy nose, and this will prevent snoring
- Try using an air purifier if your child is suffering from allergies. Air purifiers eliminate pollen and dust like allergens
- Put your child to sleep on their back
- Wash your children’s nose passage with the help of saline water
- Get rid of any product that can potentially contain allergens like pillows, stuffed toys, feather comforters
Get them checked up if you think that your children might have snoring issues. The doctor will take the kid’s medical history and examine their neck, mouth, throat, palate, and nose. Also, a sleep study might be required to explain the severity of the snoring. This test records the brain waves, breathing, wake times, and heartbeats to give the doctor the most accurate result of how snoring affects your child’s health.
Your doctor will discuss the most effective treatment for snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea with you. If you want to avoid surgery, you can have your child sleep with a nasal mask on, which provides air pressure to their throat. The nasal mask is known as CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure.
Infections or any other reason can cause the adenoids and tonsils to become large or they can be large from birth too. Children are more likely to get their tonsils and adenoids enlarged, and there’s no treatment required for this.
This condition doesn’t necessarily show any symptoms, but it can cause the children to sound like they caught a cold.
If your children have enlarged tonsils and adenoids, look for the following signs:
- Unusually positioned teeth or shaped palate
- Bad breath
- Breathing through mouth
The issues that enlarged tonsils and adenoids causes are pretty common and can be treated by ENT specialist GPs.
If you notice anything off with your children, get them examined by a specialist. The doctor will get the child’s history and inquire about the symptoms they’re experiencing. Along with that, the doctor will examine your child’s mouth, ears, throat, and neck. The result will help the doctor detect if there’s any viral or bacterial infection present.
However, while examining your child, if the doctors don’t get precise imaging of the tonsils, they might ask for a sleep study. To get a good look at the adenoid, though, your surgeon will get the help of an endoscope.
Some more tests that can help the doctors diagnose your child’s condition better are blood tests and x-ray.
The treatment approaches for your child’s enlarged tonsils and adenoid will depend on the type of infection they have. Bacterial or viral.
For example, if the child suffers from a bacterial infection, the doctor will treat it with antibiotics because antibiotics are the best option only for treating bacterial infections. So, if there’s any virus inflaming the tonsils and adenoids, the doctor will ensure the treatment is not causing the child any discomfort.
Here are some of the treatment approaches to help mitigate swelling and pain:
- Nasal spray
- Lozenges for throat
- Drinking more fluid
If your child frequently suffers from tonsil and adenoid infections, the doctor will recommend a surgical procedure named tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy to remove the chronically infected tissues. Sometimes, both or only one of the tonsils and adenoids gets removed in this process.
The thin and bony plates that you have inside your nose are known as turbinates. Facts like long-term colds and allergies can cause them to become enlarged, which affects your child’s breathing. Using decongestant nasal sprays for a long time can also enlarge your turbinates. There are times when the reason for swelling is pretty unclear.
While the swelling might not cause severe pain, it does feel irritating since it feels like something is blocking the nose.
Our nasal cavity usually has three turbinate sets – the superior, the middle, and the inferior turbinates. The swelling and enlargement of these can block the humidification and airflow in the nose.
Allergies like hayfever and common colds cause the turbinates to swell in the children. Your child will need a surgical approach if the swelling doesn’t disappear.
Your child will need to get the turbinate reduction surgery done to improve the airflow. This procedure helps to reduce the enlarged turbinates.
The doctors choose to perform turbinate reduction when there is no visible improvement with allergy treatments and medications.
It is an outpatient procedure and can be performed in any surgical centre or hospital.
The doctor goes through the nostrils for the incision and cuts the enlarged bone in your nose that’s been discomforting you. This helps remove the blockage from your children’s nasal passage and clear the airway. To stop the bleeding, the doctor might use radiofrequency or cautery.
Once the surgery is done, it might be some time before you’re discharged, but you’ll get to bring your kid home the same day. The doctor might give some instructions to ensure your child heals appropriately after the turbinate reduction.
There might be a feeling of dizziness or nausea afterwards and if so, make sure you consume clear liquids.
Don’t forget your kid’s follow-up. The surgeon must get to see what’s happening to the surgery site from time to time. So, ensure that all the appointments are attended and discuss anything you’re doubtful of with the doctor.