18 Month Old with a Constant Runny Nose

Updated on March 29, 2008
M.C. asks from Hyattsville, MD
6 answers

My daughter who is 18 months is suppose to have surgery on friday for her runny nose. The doctors stated that they will put tubes in both of her ears. The reason for this is because she has to much fluid collecting in her ears. She has temporarly lost a little hearing because of this fluid and they say it can get a little worse from what it is now. The doctors also state that they will also take out her atnoids (sp) because that is cause the fluid to collect and stay in her ears. In the past year she has had 7 ear infections and pneumonia twice. I am really nerves about letting her have this surgery, but her nose just will not stop running. If you wipe it the mucose comes out right away again it just doesnt stop. We give her albuterol and pulmicort through the nebulizer twice a day right now. We use a humidifier at night and we give her a vitamin every day. They said she doesnt have asthma but you sometimes can hear the congestion. I would really like some advice because I know she is really young to go under and I am a little scared.

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So What Happened?

First, I want to thank all that posted their comments and who sent me emails on my daughters behalf. My daughter had the surgery on Friday, March 28, 2008 (the longest day of my life thus far) at Childrens Hospital. The surgery was only a little over an hour that was the good thing. But what did not go so well, was coming out of the ansthesia. It took her, what was suppose to be about 20 - 30 minutes, took her two hours to wake up. During that time she was not getting enough oxgen. They finally gave her some albuterol, then she woke up. While she was awake her oxgen levels were fine but when she would fall asleep they would drop real low. So, they decided to leave her overnight for observation. After some real hard crying because mommy was leaving the room she coughed up whatever was in her chest and then she was better. When she came out of surgery for the time she was still having the oxgen levels her breathing was actually worse than before she went in. But by the time we left the next morning it had gotten better. It was still a little touch and go when we got home (I did not get the immediate recovery like I was hearing from everyone) her nose was still running for about a week and a half. This past saturday she finally blew her nose and that was all she needed. She is now breathing so much better, the runny nose is basically stopped. Her speech is so much better and she is not falling down every time she starts to walk or run.

I was very worried, but after reading all the postings and emails I felt a lot better in what I was about to go through with my daughter. Watching her these past two weeks and see from where we started that Friday morning to where we are this Friday morning is a world of differences. She is running and playing like nothing has changed. I love my little and am proud of what she is doing. Thank you all again.

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

I would love to hear the response on this.

I was just reading an article in the Wash Post Health section on March 18, 2008 about ear-tube surgery and it was very informative and comforting to me. You should check it out.
I have a 22 month old son who was born at 25 weeks and spent 11 weeks on a ventilator which resulted in lung disease. I was told that it would take some time for him to heal from this disease. But in Dec 2007, he contracted pneumonia and had about four ear infections. He overcame this and then he went back into daycare and contracted pneumonia again. I hired live-in help to take him out of the viral-laden daycare atmosphere but that was not comforting..so now he is with my Mom in the Caribbean where there is beautiful weather and less viral issues and he is still having the same issue.
His problem manifest itself as congested breathing, wheezing, lots of coughing and vomitting. He has had some doses of Prevnar but I'm not sure he received all. But I would so love for him to stop getting these 'colds' so many times. Any other suggestions?

I am a 39 years old mother of one 22 month old son. I live in Mt. Rainier, MD

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answers from Washington DC on

My son had the ear tube surgery when he was 17-18 months he is now 22 months. I was a little nervous too but the surgery we very well. We had it done at the DC Children Hospital. The ear surgery itself took all of 15 minutes. We were in the hospital a total of 2 hours (he stay in recovery to make sure he came out of the anestesia ok). I must say though that he did not have the same problem with the runny nose, but he had something like 8-19 ear infection in his little lifetime. He is doing fine and has not had an ear infection since. So the surgery will probably do well for your daughter. Just say a quick prayer before and after the surgery. She will be fine.

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answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.,
I went through similar symptoms with my now 5 year old. It is important, in my opinion, to do this procedure especially since she has a hearling loss. My daughter had tubes put in around 15 months - I had to hand my baby over and it was so scary. I was by myself because my husband was deployed with the army at the time. I sat down in the waiting room and no kidding, 15 minutes later they were coming to get me in the recovery room. Be prepared for her to be out of sorts in the recovery room. My daughter was screaming but that is due to the anesthesia.
Be warned that when these tubes fall out the fluid can return to the ear. Maybe your daughter's won't because the adenoids are being removed as well. At the age of three she had to have a different type of tube inserted (t-tube) and her adenoids removed. This time dad took her! Her voice was scrathcy and very nasal after the adenoid removal. She hasn't had an ear infection or fluid in her ears since this procedure. Hearing is normal. The only thing that has been affected is her speech which she is currently in the process of being evaluated for at school.
Your daughter will be fine. She'll do better than you! Trust your daughters doctor. Let us know how things go on Friday.

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answers from Washington DC on


I wouldn't worry much. My daughter had this done about 4 years ago at children's hospital in DC as well. She had hearing loss and sore throats. They removed her tonsils adenoids and put tubes in both ears. She stayed over night and the tubes fell out on their own right on schedule. No problems since. I think it's good that they are doing it now because since my daughter was hearing under water she began to speak as such and now I spend a lot of time repeating words for proper pronunciation.



answers from Washington DC on

Good Morning. So sorry about your daughter's challenges. Have you checked into food or environmental allergies?



answers from Washington DC on

I hope your daughter's surgery went well!

My son had tubes put in at 3 yrs. due to constant ear infections. It was the best thing for him (adenoids came out too) They drained about a half a cup of fluid from behind each ear. It was a tremendous help to him, as I'm sure it will be for your daughter.

As she gets older, if she is still having problems, consider allergy testing for food and environmental allergens. Dairy can cause overproduction of mucus. My son who had the tubes also ended up needing allergy shots. The shots were a godsend for him and made such a difference in the quality of his life.

Good luck to you!

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