Flaring of the alae nasi (nostrils); Nostrils - flaring
Seek immediate emergency help if you or your child has signs of a breathing difficulty.
Call your health care provider if
Call your health care provider if:
- There is any persistent, unexplained nasal flaring, especially in a young child.
Bluish colordevelops in the lips, nail beds, or skin. This is a sign that breathing difficultyis severe and may mean that an emergency condition is developing.
- You think that your child is having trouble breathing.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
The health care provider will perform a physical exam to determine if the flaring is due to upper or lower respiratory problems. The exam will include careful listening to the
Medical history questions may include:
- When did it start?
- Is the person getting better or worse?
- Does the person look blue?
- Is the breathing noisy, or are there
- Are there grunting noises with the breathing?
- Does the person look like they are working hard to breathe?
- Are they getting tired or sweaty?
- Do the muscles of the stomach, shoulders, or rib cage need to be used when the person is breathing? (See:
- What other symptoms does the person have?
The following tests may be performed:
- Arterial blood gas analysis
Complete blood count(CBC) ECG
- Pulse oximetry to measure blood oxygen level
X-rays of the chest
The patient may be given oxygen.
Review Date: 04/26/2010
Reviewed By: 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.