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

New York Nasal Obstruction Treatment

Nasal obstruction is a common occurrence that happens to everyone. It has numerous potential causes, as anything blocking the flow of air into and out of the nose can cause a nasal obstruction. The treatment for nasal obstruction depends on what is causing it.

Normally, nasal obstruction is temporary and not serious. However, if it persists it can cause breathing problems and other serious health problems. Your New York City facial plastic surgeon, nasal specialist will examine you thoroughly to determine the cause of your nasal obstruction before deciding what course of action to take to free your airways and restore proper breathing.

Nasal Obstruction Causes

Most cases of nasal obstruction are caused by allergies, sinusitis, medication, overuse of nasal sprays and other relatively unhazardous causes. But nasal obstruction can also be caused by a foreign object or anatomical factors, in which case the obstruction may require surgery.

Here are some of the anatomical factors that can cause nasal obstruction:

  • Here are some of the anatomical factors that can cause nasal obstruction:
  • Some cases of nasal obstruction result from enlarged nasal turbinates. The turbinates are three structures comprised of soft tissue and bone that line the sides of the nasal cavity. If they swell and enlarge they can block the nostrils.
  • Nasal obstruction can also be caused by a type of inflammatory tissue called nasal polyps. These polyps can often grow in the sinuses and nasal cavity. Nasal polyps often affect people with allergies or asthma. The most common symptoms is nasal obstruction.
  • Another cause of nasal obstruction is a collapse of the nasal valve(s). This typically occurs due to narrowness or weakness of the nasal valve. Causes include trauma to the nose or even a prior rhinoplasty procedure that may not have gone well.
  • Nasal obstruction can cause breathing problems and sinus disease, so it must be treated.

Non-Surgical and Surgical Treatments for Nasal Obstruction

Many cases of nasal obstruction can be treated with allergy medications, anti-inflammatories, nasal irrigation sprays or special nasal strips. However, in chronic or more severe cases, surgery may be required. Your board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon must identify the cause of your nasal obstruction before recommending a treatment.

Here are some of the situations in which surgery may be necessary to address a nasal obstruction:

  • Enlarged nasal turbinates can often be addressed with allergy treatments such as nasal steroid sprays. But if this does not work, surgery may be required to reduce the turbinates.
  • Nasal polyps are usually treated with steroid sprays, but if these fail to work, endoscopic surgery may be necessary.
  • A deviated septum is usually treated through a surgery called septoplasty, to straighten the septum; internal incisions are made and the bone and/or cartilage causing the obstruction is removed.
  • An internal valve collapse is also usually treated with surgery. In this surgery, strips of cartilage may be placed in the collapsed area and/or the cartilage may be reattached to the septum. A type of grafts called alar batten grafts may be used if the collapse was caused by weakness in the nasal sidewall; alar batten grafts are often combined with septoplasty or a separate procedure called septorhinoplasty.

When to Consider Surgery

It is perfectly normal to experience nasal obstructions. However, chronic nasal obstruction is not normal and can lead to symptoms such as chronic sore throat, post-nasal drip, plugged ears, hoarseness and voice changes. Nasal obstruction can also lead to snoring, which in turn can cause sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition. If non-surgical methods do not suffice to correct a nasal obstruction, your doctor may refer you to a facial plastic surgeon specializing in nose surgery, to determine if you need surgery to get you breathing properly again.

For more information on New York nasal obstruction treatments, contact the office of Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, Sam Rizk, MD, FACS today.

Written by Dr. Sam Rizk

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