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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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REVIEWS CONTROVERSIES IN PEDIATRICS IN 2010 - PART I
Minerva Pediatrica 2010 October;62(5):499-505
Nasal obstruction in neonates and infants
Chirico G., Beccagutti F.
Department of Neonatology and NICU, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy
The main functions of the nasal airway are respiration and olfaction. The nose and sinuses condition air before reaching the lower respiratory tract by providing almost 100% humidification, warming, filtering and trapping of foreign particles. The airway epithelium contributes to the host defense system. Any alteration of this clearance system may produce significant problems, particularly in neonates, who are obligate nasal breathers until they are at least two months old. Nasal obstruction, and the inability to remove nasal secretion by nose blowing, may have serious consequences, such as respiratory distress or discomfort, altered sleep cycle, increased risk of obstructive apnoea and feeding difficulties. Most cases of nasal obstruction in neonates and infants are due to generalized nasal airway obstruction associated with neonatal rhinitis, viral upper respiratory tract infections, and possibly milk/soy allergies. Saline nasal lavage is recommended as an adjunct therapy for rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis, and in most cases of nasal congestion or obstruction in newborns, infants and children. In two recent experiences, was deemed to be the Narhinel method safe and effective for treatment of nasal congestion in babies with viral infections of the upper respiratory tract, or for the prevention of acute otitis media (AOM) and acute rhinosinusitis (AR) in children. Due to the efficacy, ease of use, tolerability and the lack of alternative medications in children younger than 12 years of age, nasal irrigation with physiological saline solution, followed by gentle aspiration, represent an effective method for the prevention and control of nasal congestion or obstruction in term or preterm neonates, infants and children.