Board Certifications: American Board of Facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery American Board of Otolaryngology - ABO

What Causes Nasal Obstruction And What Are The Treatments Of Nasal Obstruction?

We have all experienced minor nasal obstruction, but in more severe cases it can lead to sinus disease or breathing problems, so it must be treated. Nasal obstruction has many potential causes, including a deviated septum, enlargement of the nasal turbinates, nasal polyps and nasal valve collapse.

A deviated septum is usually treated through a procedure called septoplasty. During this procedure, the facial plastic surgeon makes internal decisions, removes the bone and cartilage causing the obstruction, and straightens the septum.

Nasal turbinates are three structures comprised of soft tissue and bone that line the sides of the nasal cavity. It is normal for them to swell and enlarge at times, but if they become too large they can cause nasal obstruction. This is often related to allergies, in which case it may be successfully treated with nasal steroid sprays. But if this doesn’t work, surgery is required to reduce the turbinates.

Nasal polyps are another cause of nasal obstruction. This inflammatory tissue can grow in the sinuses and nasal cavity. It frequently occurs in patients with asthma and, like nasal turbinates, in patients with allergies. As such, nasal polyps are usually treated with steroid spray or, if necessary, through endoscopic surgery.

Nasal valve collapse can also cause nasal obstruction. This narrowing or weakness of the nasal valve can sometimes be treated through non-invasive means, such as nasal strips. However, in some cases a surgical procedure such as rhinoplasty, septoplasty or septorhinoplasty may be is needed.

Written by Dr. Sam Rizk

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