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Nasal Discharge in Children

Backward runny nose, or as it is commonly called, post-nasal drip in children is a common disease which causes problems such as coughing and itching in the throat. The most important reason for the emergence of postnasal drip, which causes these problems, is the formation of mucus discharge.

Mucus is produced in the body to keep areas such as the throat, nasal passages, nose and mouth moist. At the same time, mucus, which has the task of preventing harmful formations from taking place and spreading in the body, has a critical function in terms of both defense and balance of the human body. An excess amount of this fluid, which the body produces in order to provide defense and balance, brings along the nasal discharge.

This excess mucus discharge in the nasal passage creates an uncomfortable feeling down the throat. Postnasal drip is mostly a situation that occurs during periods when the immune system is weakened and the body's resistance is therefore declined. Factors that cause postnasal drip due to weakening of body resistance are;

  • Allergic reactions during seasonal changes
  • Colds due to weakening immunity
  • Influenza etc. caused by cold and dry weather.


What Are the Symptoms of Nasal Discharge in Children?

In order to understand whether the complaints in children are a sign of postnasal drip, it is useful to know what the symptoms are.

Stinging Feeling in the Throat

Nasal discharge is manifested as a discharge that descends from the nose, through the throat, and to the stomach. This discharge, which occurs in the throat area, creates a feeling of tickling and as it continues down the throat, it brings with it a feeling of itching. In children, itching and tickling trigger cough.


Self-relaxation reactions are observed in the body through dry cough, with postnasal discharge causing a tickling and itching sensation in the throat. These dry cough conditions are more common, especially at night. The primary effect of nasal discharge in children is night coughing.

Throat Ache

One of the most common symptoms of postnasal drip is pain in the throat. Dry coughs against the itching and tickling sensation created by the discharge may irritate the throat and sore throat may occur. Throat irritation caused by coughing attacks that occur at night in children can bring along a sore throat.

Sputum Formation

Nasal discharge can cause congestion and sputum formation in the throat along with coughing. This discharge, which occurs backwards from the nose, can cause nausea and loss of appetite in the child, along with a feeling of congestion.

Ear Infection

As a result of the mucus fluid blocking the middle ear and throat, ear infections may develop and this infection may lead to certain complications.


Nasal discharge flows from the nose to the throat. Nasal discharge flowing into the throat can cause a sudden feeling of not being able to breathe. This situation, which returns to normal within a few seconds and occurs suddenly, is one of the symptoms of nasal discharge.


Nasal discharge threatens the quality of breathing by creating both a blockage and an itchy feeling in the throat with the discharge in the nasal region, which triggers a headache. In addition, in cases such as sinusitis, inflammation of the mucous fluid formed in the ossicles opening to the nose area can cause headaches.

What are the Causes?

Conditions that cause postnasal drip in children are generally those that cause a decrease in body resistance and lead to other problems with it.

Common Cold

Viral conditions such as the common cold are generally experienced during transition periods when sudden weather changes are experienced or when the weather gets cold. These viral infections, which can manifest themselves with the common cold, also bring along postnasal drip. With the emerging of postnasal drip, bad breath or stomach diseases may occur, since all respiratory tracts will be affected by the infection. In this context, we can say that as a result of external factors such as seasonal changes and sudden climatic cooling, conditions such as nasal discharge and cough complaints may occur due to the formation of infection in the upper respiratory tract.

Since children's immune systems are more sensitive to these climatic changes, children will be more likely to experience nasal discharges with the common cold.


We call the bony cavities in the form of channels in the skull that open to the nose area "sinuses". Sinusitis occurs when the mucous fluid that accumulates in these bone cavities hardens and causes inflammation. This situation, which manifests itself in the form of headache and post-nasal drip towards the stomach, can cause further weakening in the body's resistance.

In children, sinusitis can cause headaches and an accompanying nasal discharge, which can cause restlessness, nausea and loss of appetite. Together with viral infection, a runny nose brings high fever. If the duration of infection is longer than 10 days, acute sinusitis is suspected. In these cases, it is recommended that children use short-term nasal drops together with antibiotic treatment.

Allergic Reactions

The nasal discharge that occurs as a result of an allergic reaction is called "allergic rhinitis", and it is more commonly known as hay fever. Nasal discharge, which manifests itself with the inflammation of the excess mucous fluid in the nose, occurs mostly as a result of pollen forming and increasing in spring.

If nasal discharges occurs in a child due to allergic reasons, the first thing to do should be to improve the conditions of the child's living and activity areas. It can be effective not to have carpets in the rooms of children who have such problems, and not to use materials such as fluffy blankets or woolen quilts. In addition, care should be taken that there is no humidity in the living areas of children. Humidity is a factor that increases nasal congestion. In this respect, care should be taken to ensure that there is no humidity in the living areas of children who have allergic reactions and post-nasal drip.