A nasal obstruction restricts airflow in and out of the nose affecting one or both nasal passages and is often due to some blockage of the nose or nasal cavity.
What Causes Nasal Obstruction?
There are several things that can cause nasal obstruction, including medical conditions such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), non-allergic rhinitis (or vasomotor rhinitis), sinusitis (sinus infections), environmental irritants (e.g., smoke or dust), a cold or flu, and certain medications (e.g., high blood pressure medication). Allergies, for some patients, can lead to swelling of the nasal and sinus lining, which causes congestion and blockage.
For other patients, the blockage may be due to a simple anatomical obstruction, such as a deviated septum, enlarged inferior turbinates or narrow nasal passages, nasal polyps, nasal valve collapse, and enlarged adenoids. Often patients with narrow nasal passages have problems with the nasal septum and turbinates.
What are the Symptoms of Nasal Obstruction?
Symptoms of nasal obstruction often include:
- Nasal congestion or stuffiness
- Nasal blockage or obstruction
- Trouble breathing through your nose
- Trouble sleeping
- Inability to get enough air through your nose during exercise or exertion
How Is Nasal Obstruction Diagnosed?
At North Dallas ENT, your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor will conduct a detailed patient history with physical examination, including a look at your nasal cavity with a 4mm lighted endoscope. Additional testing, such as allergy testing, a CT scan or an MRI, may also be ordered to confirm the diagnosis of nasal obstruction.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Nasal Obstruction?
While you await confirmation on diagnosis, your doctor may recommend that you use a nasal steroid spray to help reduce inflammation of your nose and turbinates. This will help get your symptoms under control, providing you with immediate, short-term relief.
For long-term solutions, surgery may be required, especially for a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates or nasal polyps. There are many newer surgical techniques available today that can be done in the office, giving the patient the added benefit of shorter recovery time and return to normal activities within a few days.
At North Dallas ENT we specialize in all treatments of nasal obstruction, including:
- Chronic Rhinitis
- A Deviated Septum
- Enlarged Turbinates