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Children's Health

Stuffy Nose 1 yr old

10/27/2000

Question:

My 1 year old daughter is having problems breathing through her nose at night. She has had a ear infection about a week ago and her nose is draining a bright green mucose. We have given her DimeTapp and that helps drain but when will it end this has been going on for over a week and a half know. She becomes very irretable at night and not sleeping properly like she previously did.

Answer:

Your daughter might have one of two different types of infections. The first infection is a general viral upper airway infection. These infections result in a variety of common cold symptoms, including runny nose, congestion, cough, sore throat, ear aches, fever, sinus pressure, decreased energy and generally not feeling well. You were asking how long you can expect symptoms to last. This depends on what type of virus your child is infected with, but in general cold symptoms will start to resolve within 1 1/2 to 2 weeks of onset. You were saying that the drainage is green and has been persistent for 1 1/2 weeks. These details make us more concerned about a bacterial sinusitis, especially if your child is having persistent fevers in addition. I would continue the DimeTapp if that is helping with drainage, but if symptoms persist, your child should be reevaluated by her physician for the possibility of bacterial sinusitis, which symptoms include sinus pressure, headache, greenish-yellow nasal drainage, cough and fever. I presume that your physician prescribed an antibiotic for the ear infection. If your child does have bacterial sinusitis, she might need a stronger antibiotic, or longer course of antibiotics, depending on which antibiotic was initially prescribed for the ear infection. I hope your child gets well soon, and please let us know if you have any other questions.

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Response by:

Robert Blount, MD
Resident
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati

Caroline Mueller, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati