Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose. It produces mucous and congestion and is often referred to as a "cold," although rhinitis tends to be a little more complicated than that. It is a much more complicated matter when newborns are affected by rhinitis. It can lead to near-fatal episodes if a parent does not get the baby into an E.R. or to see a doctor right away. Here are three reasons why this infection is so dangerous to newborns.
A Newborn's Nasal Passages Are Underdeveloped
While a baby is born with everything it needs to breathe outside its mother's womb, there is still a lot that is underdeveloped. Typically, given time, a newborn will have everything develop correctly and develop antibodies to most forms of rhinitis. However, in the first month to three months, a baby's nasal passages have not fully developed. Rhinitis causes them to swell shut completely, and the baby (not knowing yet that it can breathe through its mouth) will gasp for air and making wheezing sounds. A doctor in the E.R. or the baby's pediatrician can administer an emergency medication and treatment to help the baby breathe easier and alleviate some of the swelling in its little nose.
A Newborn's Ear Canals Can Fill with Fluid and Make the Baby Panic
The Eustachian tubes in infants run in a straight line from side to side. Their nasal passages connect to the Eustachian tubes, which means that the rhinitis can travel into the baby's ear canals and cause more infection, more pain, and an inability to hear. This could cause the baby to panic, cry out in pain without stopping, and/or have permanent damage to his/her hearing. If he/she panics because of the inability to hear clearly, a panic response puts the baby in a very rigid state and makes it even more impossible for the baby to breathe. Since you cannot tell a baby not to panic, you need to seek emergency treatment.
Ear Infections and Clogged Esophagi Can Create Issues
With all of that fluid and bacteria trapped in underdeveloped nasal passages, it only can go two directions: down the throat and into the ears. If it gets thick and sticky, the baby will choke and gasp because he/she cannot breathe through the nose or the mouth (even if the baby does figure this out). If it goes into the ears, severe ear infections are eminent and extremely painful.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.nwasthma.com.