Nasal Discharge

Causes and Symptoms

This can be either from both sides or one side. Many conditions can give rise to nasal discharge including infections, allergy, acute or chronic sinusitis, adenoidal hypertrophy, and the presence of nasal polyps. Most of these conditions have been dealt with previously. In a child, this invariably is due to a foreign body until proven otherwise. Usually, part of a toy or a household object is inadvertently pushed into the nasal cavity and can often be forgotten about by the child. The presenting symptom is a smelly nasal discharge from one side.

In adults, the presence of a unilateral discharge can be due to the presence of a serious medical condition such as a tumour and therefore needs to be urgently referred for assessment. See red flag symptoms.

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The most important scenario is the presence of unilateral one-sided nasal discharge.

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