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Causes of runny nose in kids

January 23, 2009



Nasal discharge or “runny nose” is an extremely common menace that parents are forced to face. Runny nose is caused by the excessive production of mucus. Although not a major health threat, the presence of cold makes the child irritated. Cold is generally considered as an outcome of a weakened immune system.

The common “head cold” is the result of viral infection and usually lasts for two weeks. Mostly, children get two or three of such attacks during a year. Mucus is excessively secreted by the nasal tissues in order to flush out the cold virus that has attacked the upper respiratory tract. The usual mode of relief is blowing the nose into disposable tissues.

Sinus infection also leads to runny nose. In this case, the infection might be either viral or bacterial in nature. The infectious microbe attacks one or more of the sinus cavities. It is generally based on the length of time that mucus is being produced within the child’s nose that sinus infection gets diagnosed. If the runny nose persists for more than two weeks without any improvement in the child’s condition, sinus infection is likely. Sinus infection demands antibiotic treatment for complete cure. In most cases, sinus infection causes a rise in the child’s body temperature as well.

Allergic reactions also lead to runny nose in children. Here, the production of mucus is part of the natural immunological response to antigenic particles. Exposure to certain plants, dust, pollen or other substances such as cat dander serves as allergens. Seasonal allergic cold occurs during particular seasons.  But in some children allergic rhinitis occurs regardless of the time of year. This condition is called perennial allergic cold. Mostly found reasons for such all-time runny nose are household dust mites and animal dander.

In some children household irritants such as cigarette smoke and other chemical-based products is found to be responsible for runny nose. The best prevention that can be taken in such a situation is the complete elimination of the allergen.


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