When should a doctor be called to treat a runny nose?

A runny nose will typically go away on its own. However, a doctor should be called if:

  • The symptoms continue for more than 10 days and there is no improvement.
  • Symptoms are severe or unusual.
  • Drainage from a young child’s nose comes from only one side, and is green, bloody, or foul-smelling, or if you have other reason to believe there may be a foreign object stuck in the nose.

The doctor will perform a physical examination to make sure the runny nose is not a symptom of a more serious condition.

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