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Nasal congestion—“stuffy nose”—is one of the most common ailments brought to the attention of a pediatrician. Nasal congestion is such a frequent and familiar condition that both parents and medical professionals often overlook the need for intervention. Children who have congestion, however, can suffer significant quality-of-life detriments because of sleep disturbance, learning impairment, and fatigue. Furthermore, there are multiple organic consequences of untreated nasal congestion.

Chronic rhinitis is one of the most common causes of nasal congestion in pediatrics. In 1998, the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology defined rhinitis as “Inflammation of the membrane lining the nose, characterized by nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, itching of the nose and/or postnasal drainage.” By definition, symptoms last at least 30 minutes daily and for 2 or more months' duration. The cause of chronic rhinitis can be allergic or...

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