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What causes nasal flaring? 12 possible conditions

Nasal flaring occurs when your nostrils widen while breathing, and may be a sign that you’re having difficulty breathing. It’s most commonly seen in children and infants. In some cases, it can indicate respiratory distress.  Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Acute Upper Airway Obstruction

An acute upper airway obstruction is when a blockage occurs in your upper airway. Read about the symptoms and treatment options.

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2

Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is a viral respiratory condition in which the bronchioles in the lungs become inflamed or damaged, restricting the ability to breathe.

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3

Croup

Croup is a viral condition that causes swelling around the vocal cords. It's most active in the fall and winter months and targets children under the age of 5.

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4

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. General symptoms include chest pain, fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

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5

Pulmonary Edema

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Pulmonary edema is a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid. When this occurs, the body struggles to get enough oxygen, often resulting in breathlessness, coughing, excessive sweating, and bluish skin or lips.

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6

Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome

A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. This gives the fetus time to grow. At 40 weeks, the organs are usually fully developed. If a baby is born too early, the lungs may not be fully developed, and they may not functio...

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7

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Infection

RSV is virus that causes symptoms similar to those of a cold and occurs most frequently in children. Learn about causes and treatment.

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8

Transitory Tachypnea of Newborn

When a baby is delivered, the amniotic fluid should be expelled from their lungs. If this doesn't happen, a mild condition called transient tachypnea develops.

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9

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

Meconium aspiration syndrome can cause health complications for your newborn if left untreated. Learn about the symptoms.

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10

Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways to your lungs become inflamed. The inflammation can make breathing difficult and painful. Childhood asthma affects almost nine million children in the United States...

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11

COPD Overview

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of progressive lung diseases. Here's what you should know about symptoms, diagnosis, and management.

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12

Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)

Pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, occurs when air is trapped in the space around your lungs. Learn about the types of pneumothorax and the treatment for it.

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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