Nasal Obstruction

Nasal obstruction is an inability to breath through the nose at a required volume of air. Nasal obstruction is abnormal and in most cases can be treated.

The symptoms of nasal obstruction vary from the obvious sensation of having a blocked nose through to less obvious symptoms such as:

  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Snoring
  • Runny nose
  • Dry throat in the morning

Many patients may notice that they have difficulty breathing through one nostril, however it is also normal for patients to notice that they breath through one side of their nose then the other. This is part of the normal nasal cycle where one inferior turbinate [tissue within the nose] swells while the other inferior turbinate decreases in size.

In general there are 2 treatment options for nasal obstruction:

  • Nasal Sprays
  • Surgery

Most people should have a trial of combination nasal sprays for treatment of their nasal obstruction. The combination most commonly used is saline douche and intranasal steroids. This trial should continue for a total of 6 weeks to assess response to treatment.

If a trial of nasal sprays has not been effective at improving your nasal obstruction then you may be a candidate for surgery. The type of surgery differs between individuals however the general principle remains the same in most people, increase the cross sectional area of the nasal airway whilst ensuring that the nose still functions normally.

For nasal obstruction which is not severe or is not revision surgery then most patients have a septoplasty and turbinoplasty. For patients who have severe nasal obstruction or have previously had an operation which has not been successful then they usually have a functional rhinoplasty.

For more information on how the treat your nasal obstruction make an appointment with one of our surgeons at ENT Clinics.

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