Respiratory Therapist/Nasal flares


Hi, I have a four year old who does have allergies and just started last week on Claritin.  Her allergies seem to bother her nasal area the most, especially at night. I noticed some slight nasal flaring while she sleeps and during the day very slightly when she is talking.  I am sure the nasal flare is related to allergies, but was wondering if you know of any suggestions, or something to watch for. The flaring makes me nervous although she seems fine and it is slight. Any information regarding how to know she has trouble breathing. Since this allergy thing started she has been snoring, mouth closed, just very noisy in the nose. I don't want her to get asmthma and don't know much on what to look for. She was just at her 4 year checkup and recently had bloodworm due to a virus and all was fine. Her odometer was 96 at that visit.


Hello Heidi,

As elementary as it sounds, nasal flaring is simply a common sign of difficulty breathing, and is quite common in young children who have routine nasal congestion due to cold or allergies. The first thing you should do if you notice your child's nostrils flaring is to try suctioning the nose out with saline drops and a bulb syringe. Or, have her blow her nose. Using a drop or two of saline in one nostril, gently suctioning the congestion out, then repeating these steps in the other nostril, may help clear up the nasal flaring. It is always possible that Claritin may not be the medication that she responds to best, sometimes it takes a week or more for a medication to continually cycle through a patient's syem and work consistently. If after 2-3 weeks you don't see improvement, you may want to consider asking her MD if there is another medication that may be more effective for her.  

I sincerely hope this helps, and thank you for trusting me with your family's health-related question.

Best of health to you,

Larry, RRT

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators ("Respirators") - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

Past/Present Clients
Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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