to take my 3 year old to the doctor for constant runny nose?

(23 Posts)
IWantToGoToThere Fri 03-May-13 10:15:46

I hope I don't get totally flamed for wasting NHS resources, but am really starting to think it's more than just a constant cold.

DS is 3 years 4 months and since he was 9 months old, he has had a constant runny nose. I say that without hyperbole - there was a period of 10 days or so last year when it wasn't running at all and it was amazing! DH and I are constantly wiping his nose and we go through a jumbo box of tissues every 2 days (thank god for Costco).

He goes to nursery 3 days a week and I totally accept that kids pass colds to each other constantly, but when I look at the other children when I go to pick him up, most of them are dry-nosed except for my DS who has crusty nostrils and a snail trail.

We have been to NZ/Australia for a few holidays of 3 weeks at a time, and it was still running so I don't think it's just nursery colds as presumably they would have cleared up in the sunshine and fresh air on holiday?

He snores at night and occasionally stops breathing for a few seconds then snorts himself into breathing again. He also can't breathe through his nose so sounds like Darth Vader most of the time.

So although I am going to be told 'it's just a virus, it will clear up' the last 18 months does not give me much hope that it will. So, AIBU to think this could be more than just a cold?

Sounds a bit more like a mild allergy-type reaction to me, particularly if the mucus is clear and not 'snotty' IYSWIM?

I would say definitely take him to the GP and don't be palmed off with an 'it's just a virus' explanation. Having a runny nose for that length of time is not usual, even in nursery-going children.

taxi4ballet Fri 03-May-13 11:07:32

If the doctor fobbs you off, you could ask for a referral to the hospital for the Ear Nose and Throat department?

pollyblue Fri 03-May-13 11:11:25

He might have rhinitis - i've had that since i was a child and had an almost constant runny nose until it was diagnosed - i now use a nasal spray and that keeps it under control.

dizzy77 Fri 03-May-13 11:37:57

My friend's son had enlarged adenoids which led to both the runny nose and the sleep aponea: she spent ages convincing the GP who suggested viruses, allergies etc, in the end taking in a video of him sleeping & snoring which finally led to a referral to a peadiatric ENT specialist, a sleep study and eventually an operation. He's doing really well now and no more snotty than any other toddler considers trip to Costco for industrial box of tissues for my own 2yo.

sweetiepie1979 Fri 03-May-13 11:50:04

A spoonful of Manuka honey and having it on toast everyday was the only thing that cured my dc after been sick for 6 months non stop with convulsions the lot. We swear by it give it a go won't do any harm

Longdistance Fri 03-May-13 11:56:47

My dd had this, turned out that she had a pea stuck up her nose for the best part of a year confused

Think you may need to see an ENT specialist to see what's going on.

At the same time of getting the pea removed, they took dd's adenoids out, to help with her disturbed sleep, which has worked out well.

AnyoneforTurps Fri 03-May-13 12:35:51

A foreign body in the nose is unlikely if the discharge is from both nostrils (unless there's a pea up each side smile). It sounds more like persistent rhinitis - leaflet here. This is often, though not always, caused by allergy. The first line of treatment is a nasal spray, which your GP can prescribe. An ENT referral is not needed at this stage, indeed, any ENT surgeon would think the GP a complete loon if she referred you before trying the spray. NB the spray can take up to 8 weeks to have its full effect (depending on the type of spray), so it's important to persist with it even though you won't see any difference initially.

In a minority of people, persistent rhinitis is related to food but talk to your GP first before cutting out foods as it is important for a young child to have a balanced diet.

There is some evidence for using honey so this is definitely worth a try.

ArgyMargy Fri 03-May-13 12:55:34

Like Dizzy, my older son had enlarged adenoids and sleep apnoea. As soon as the GP saw a video of him sleeping and not breathing, he referred and the result was adenoids & tonsils removed. He was just under 3. As he was my first DC, I had no idea that his breathing was so bad, but looking back at old videos now it is very obvious.

ArgyMargy Fri 03-May-13 12:56:46

Sorry, Dizzy's friend smile

Jaskla Fri 03-May-13 13:01:29

No, you're not.

My DB had it and put off going to the doctor for years.

When he eventually went my DM made him at the age of 22, he had an allergy test and they found out he was allergic to a lot of things and they put him on steroids which made the symptoms much more bearable.

IWantToGoToThere Fri 03-May-13 15:17:14

Thanks for your responses, sounds like there are a few possible explanations then. Am hoping it's not rhinitis as the thought of trying to get nasal spray into him makes me want to lose the will to live. Will stay strong with the GP though and not be fobbed off with the 'it's just a virus' chestnut. Many thanks

woopsidaisy Fri 03-May-13 15:49:07

My DS2 6yo has had a runny nose his whole life. Thick green mucous. No other symptoms- except me tearing my hair our at his refusal to use a tissue!!!!
Will see how he goes this Summer and maybe go to GP.

cestlavielife Fri 03-May-13 15:52:05

get referral to ENT.
test for allergies

DrWhoTenant Fri 03-May-13 15:59:21

Op my ds has had this from age 3, gp said colds for years then tried anti histamines for a year then a spray for a few weeks nothing worked hes 7 now and just had referral to ent who is going to remove his adenoids

BallyGoBackwards Fri 03-May-13 16:35:04

My nephew (now 14) is allergic to grass. He had snotty nose for years and years and years until they finally sussed it out.

Mollydoggerson Fri 03-May-13 16:40:22

Sounds like adenoids, he might need to get them removed. Google adenoid face and see if it looks familiar

shugfish Fri 03-May-13 19:20:27

It sounds like sleep apnoea with the snoring and periods of apnoea (cessation of breathing) A minority of sleep apnoea is allergic related and antihistamines may be of benefit.
He needs an ENT referral. Tell your GP about his night breathing or try and record him on video/phone.
Does his breathing sound hoarse or raspy when he's asleep? And does he have increased effort of breathing overnight, seem by in drawing under or between ribs or of the chest bone?

shugfish Fri 03-May-13 19:21:59

Forgot to say if it is sleep apnoea current management is possible six week trial of antihistamines and/or adenotonsillectomy

kicker Fri 03-May-13 19:42:26

My DS had a persistant green snotty nose for a couple of months when he was 6. As he had glue ear we were already seeing an ENT doc. He diagnosed enormous adenoids which I saw myself as DS cooperated enough to allow a camera up his nose! The consultant said he would whip out the adenoids a put in grommets.
I took DS off all dairy that day and his nose stopped running 10 days after. A few weeks later DS went to have his operations. When he was wheeled back they said his adenoids didn't need removing as they had shrunk so they had left them there.
I have experimented with reintroducing dairy (he can have the occasional ice-cream and slice of cheese) in the form of milk and the snot reappears. He now has hemp milk and is well and thriving two years later.

kicker Fri 03-May-13 19:49:05

From my personal anecdote I would suggest taking your son of dairy for two weeks only and seeing if that helps. If it does then swot up on ways to put calcium back in his diet if you decide going non dairy is the way to go. Good luck.

Pos1 Fri 03-May-13 20:07:46

I took my daughter to the docs for this exact thing. He pointed out that she has a flat bridge to her nose (which makes her look very cute) and therefore it's difficult to stop a nasal drip. Apparently over the years her face will remodel, nose change shape etc and it should stop. She is 4 now, I took her when she was 3....I was planning to give it a while (till 5/6) and then see what happens next

rattling Fri 03-May-13 20:20:45

My nearly 4yo DS has just had his adenoids + tonsils out, grommets put in. Virtually his only symptoms were a permanently runny nose and snoring at night. A sleep study revealed his oxygen levels were dropping at night.

The difference since the op is amazing.

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