Posted by: Charmain | 2010-08-06

persistent sniffing

My 5yr old daughter sniffs continuously, have tired sinus med''s and she is on a nose spray and an anti-histamine, but does not seem to help! What could be the problem please.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Charmaine

The most likely cause in a 5 year old is allergies. One should try and establish the cause, or otherwise consult a peadiatrician that specialises in childhood allergies to advise. Exposure to an allergen causes the production of more mucus than normal, resulting in a sniffing child. The nasal spray should be a cortisone spray suitable for children, used every day as prescribed. If this is not solving the problem, she should see an ENT for a nasal endoscopy to exclude other causes, such as nasal polyposis (extremely rare in children), a viral infection, or an untreated bacterial infection, or even a foreign body lodged in the nose. (very unlikely, as it is usually only in one nostril, and is usually infected).
The most likely cause is an allergen, and it would be very helpful if this could be identified, in order to try and avoid exposure.


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