Nasal inflammation is a common condition in babies and can occur as a result of many factors. For example, nasal allergies can cause the lining of the nasal passages and sinuses to become inflamed causing irritation, congestion and pressure. Colds and other upper respiratory viruses can also cause a baby’s nasal pathways to become inflamed.
Other Causes of Nasal Inflammation
Some physiological factors can also cause nasal inflammation in babies. For example, newborns who have spent months living in amniotic fluid are oftentimes born with inflamed nasal passages. They might sneeze, snort or sound stuffy when they breathe. The condition usually clears up within a week of birth and is no cause for concern.
Nasal obstructions can also cause nasal inflammation. These might include:
• Hematoma or a solid swelling of clotted blood with the nasal tissue,
• Deviated septum,
• A tumor,
• Choanal atresia,
• Cystic fibrosis.
These conditions are rare and need to be diagnosed by a medical professional.
How to treat Nasal Inflammation in Babies
Unfortunately, it’s not safe to give babies cold medication to provide relief from nasal inflammation due to a cold or allergies. However, there are some steps that can provide relief at home.
1. Use a nasal aspirator to remove excess mucus from the sinus cavities.
2. Keep the air moist in your home, especially during the winter months. An overly dry environment can cause a baby’s nasal passages to become irritated. Bleeding can sometimes occur from an overly dry nose and babies with dry nasal passages are more susceptible to colds and viruses. Try a humidifier or cool-mist vaporizer to add moisture to the air in your baby’s room.
3. Saline drops can also provide relief from a dry nose and can help clear excess mucus. Here’s how to do it. Lay your baby on his or her back and put a rolled towel or blanket under the shoulders. Press the tip of the nose up and put two or three saline drops into each nostril. Wait about a minute and turn your baby onto his or her stomach to encourage drainage. Your baby may cough and sneeze to get the drops and/or mucus out. Saline drops are available at most drug stores.
If your baby’s nasal inflammation doesn’t improve after he or she recovers from a cold or following these home remedies, consult your pediatrician for further advice.