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The turbinates are thin, bony plates inside the nose. Allergies or a lengthy cold can irritate them and cause them to swell, or enlarge. The swelling makes it hard for your child to breathe. Another cause of the swelling is overuse of decongestant nasal sprays.
Sometimes it is not clear why turbinates swell. In most cases, swelling does not cause pain. But it can feel like an object is blocking one side of the nose.
Your doctor may do tests to be sure about what is causing the problem. He or she may prescribe a steroid spray to reduce swelling. Your doctor may advise you to stop giving your child over-the-counter nasal sprays.
If the turbinate swelling does not go down, your child may need surgery to open the nasal passage.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Charles M. Myer III MD - Otolaryngology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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