Nasal flaring - Overview
Flaring of the alae nasi (nostrils); Nostrils - flaring
Definition of Nasal flaring:
Nasal flaring is the enlargement of the opening of the nostrils during breathing. It is often a sign that increased effort is needed to breathe.
Nasal flaring is seen mostly in infants and younger children.
Any condition that causes the infant to work harder to breathe can cause nasal flaring. While many causes of nasal flaring are not serious, some can be life threatening.
In young infants, nasal flaring can be a very important symptom of respiratory distress.
- Reviewed last on: 4/26/2010
- Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Wiebe RA. General approach to the pediatric patient. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2006:chap. 164.
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