Nasopharyngitis is an acute, benign disease, very common in children, but that can also affect adults. This is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the upper pharynx, the nasopharynx, or the nasopharyngeal duct, which extends between the oral and nasal palate. Nasopharyngitis is always caused by a virus, such as rhinovirus, coronavirus or respiratory syncytial virus. Immunity is weak or non-existent, however, which is why relapses are so frequent.
The symptoms of nasopharyngitis are:
In an infant, nasopharyngitis is often poorly taken care of by parents. It can sometimes be responsible for significant breathing issues and coughing, followed by the subsequent dripping of secretions from the nose that can block the airways. Nasal obstruction must absolutely be addressed because toddlers breathe only through their nose and do not know how to compensate by breathing through the mouth.
The diagnosis of nasopharyngitis is easily established by an examination pointing out the presence of the symptoms listed above. A physical examination will be practiced to eliminate another possible infections, e.g. angina
or sinusitis, or to look for signs of nasopharyngitis. No further review is required for this diagnosis.
Nasopharyngitis is treated by the use of paracetamol, which has an effect on the painful symptoms and fever. Washing the nasal cavities with saline is essential, 6 or even 10 times per day, especially in children. The back of the bed can be raised a few inches by placing a pillow UNDER the mattress to facilitate the flow of secretions from the nose out of the body rather than into the throat. For a baby, it is also possible to suck nasal secretions with a bulb. In adults, a nasal decongestant may be used. However, decongestant nasal drops are not permitted for children. Antibiotics are not necessary in the absence of complications.