postnasal drip; rhinorrhea; runny nose
The free discharge of thin nasal mucus.
Rhinorrhea is common, but rarely serious. Nasal discharges can also include drainage from inflamed or infected sinuses, in which case it may be thicker or discolored.
Problems from the runny nose are the result of excess mucus. The mucus may cause a postnasal drip and cough that is usually worse at night. A sore throat may also result from excessive mucus drainage.
The mucus drip may plug up the Eustachian tube between the nose and the ear, causing an ear infection and pain. The mucus drip may also plug the sinus passages, causing secondary sinus infection and pain.
Be aware that decongestants make some children overly active, and that antihistamines may cause drowsiness as well as interfere with sleep.
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