5 Adverse Effects of Blocked Nose in Children
Created by Dr Shipra Mathur Updated on Nov 01, 2020
Your child has a blocked nose. You tell yourself ‘let’s wait… it will pass on its own’, ‘let’s avoid any medication’ – it’s completely natural to think like this, after all, nasal blockage is a very common problem in children – all of us have experienced it at some point of time with our little ones.
It’s almost become normal for children to suffer from a blocked nose, especially during the change of season. But actually, it’s not so normal. Let’s understand first what causes a blocked nose: A blocked nose happens due to the swelling up of the inner lining of the nose with a buildup of excess secretions inside the nostrils (the mucus). The mucus may be thick or dry and does not drain out easily causing that all too familiar 'stuffy' congested feeling.
What Happens When Child Suffering from Blocked Nose?
Since a child’s nasal passages are smaller, a child is more prone to troublesome blockage. And as parents, we worry, but we don’t go running to find an immediate solution, especially if the child is not complaining much. Maybe the child is getting used to it too! But here’s why you should not ignore a blocked nose – a persistent nasal congestion can cause significant short and medium to long-term negative effects on your child’s development and general health. Here are the 5 big watch outs…
1. Feeding Issues –
Young children tend to eat less as a result of a blocked nose. It also affects your child’s sense of smell and makes them lose their appetite, becoming what we call ‘fussy eaters’ or ‘poor eaters’.
2. Sleep Disturbances –
A child with a blocked nose has no choice but to breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing is often noisy and disturbs a child’s own sleep. Not only that, the secretions from the nose tend to fall back into the throat and this commonly results in cough when they are lying (referred to as the post nasal drip). Due to poor sleep, the child is often drowsy and lazy through the day.
3. Teeth and Mouth Alteration –
Chronic mouth breathing can cause the teeth to be aligned abnormally which alters the shape of the mouth. It gives the face a typical sagging appearance. Sometimes there is associated adenoids (tissue that is present at the back of the throat to fight infection) enlargement and children suffering from this tend to snore loudly or suffer from an erratic breathing pattern in their sleep.
4. Sinusitis –
In older children, a persistent blocked nose does not allow mucus from the sinuses to be drained properly giving rise to symptoms of sinusitis such as headaches, fever etc.
5. Hearing & Speech Impairment –
Another complication that may occur due to a persistently blocked nose is congestion in the middle ear. This can give rise to infection in the ear and can affect hearing and speech development in the long term.
Helpful Read: What to Do If Frequent Blocked Nose - Read Expert Advice
So, by now you know why you simply can’t ignore a blocked nose – especially a persistent one. So follow the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ and give your child’s blocked nose adequate attention and treatment, so as to provide quick and lasting relief and also to prevent some of the long-term effects.
Did you find the information given by Dr Shipra Mathur useful? Does your child suffer from a frequent blocked nose situation? Are you likely to take your child’s blocked nose more seriously now?
Do write in (in the comments section below) and let us know.
| Apr 07, 2017
My 14 year old kid frequently suffers from blocked nose say atleast once a month from the age of his 6th month and I was really feed up rushing to hospital as they give lots of drops which even consists of antibiotics. please do let us share som home remedies and how to prevent it as I was concerned of these side effects. It would be more helpful