NASAL OBSTRUCTION - Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus
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NASAL OBSTRUCTION

NASAL OBSTRUCTION

Nasal obstruction, or difficulty breathing through the nose, results from a blockage in the nasal passages. The common causes of nasal obstruction include anatomic abnormalities of cartilage, bones, and membranes in the nose and other various causes of nasal inflammation such as allergies. There may be obstruction on one or both sides of the nose and it may be present constantly or intermittently during certain times of the year or even only during certain times of the day. The frequency and location of the obstruction often reveals the cause of the nasal blockage but you have to ask the right questions. That’s why you need a nose specialist at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus. Dr. Kuperan is one of the few fellowship certified Rhinologists in all of Texas with specialized expertise, experience, and skills in treating patients with nasal obstruction.

UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSES OF NASAL OBSTRUCTION

Structural Abnormality

Deformities of the nasal septum (deviated septum) may cause difficulty in breathing through the nose. Some patients have enlargement of the inferior turbinates which are “hotdog” shaped structures that sit inside the floor of thenasal cavity and humidify the air we breathe. These can become enlarged in response to nasal allergies or with chronic use of nasal decongestants like Afrin. Last, collapse of the outside of the nose when we inhale is also a cause of nasal obstruction. We call this internal nasal valve collapse.

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are fluffy soft tissue growths inside the nasal cavity. They arise as a result of allergies, sinus infections, or aspirin sensitivity. They can cause severe or complete nasal obstruction on one or both sides of the nose.

Allergies

An allergic reaction to mold, pollen, animal dander, and dust also causes a stuffy nose or nasal congestion. The body reacts to these allergic substances by releasing histamine and similar substances that lead to excess production of watery or thick clear nasal mucous and congestion.

Sinus Infection

A viral or bacterial infection causes the body to release histamine, a chemical that increases blood flow to nose and results in swelling. The nasal membranes as a result become congested with blood and produce extra mucus that blocks the nasal airway. The infection also can result in the production of purulent mucous causing discolored nasal secretions that obstruct the nose and drain into the throat causing a cough.

TREATMENT OF NASAL OBSTRUCTION

If the symptoms of nasal obstruction are present it is always essential to consult a Rhinologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Nasal endoscopy (looking inside the nose with a small camera) is essential to better assess the problem and determine whether it is structural, allergic, or infectious. Nasal obstruction due to allergies or structural abnormalities is generally first treated with nasal steroid sprays. These sprays decrease the inflammation inside the nose and shrink the structures inside the nose to promote better nasal breathing. If these medications fail to improve the nasal breathing and there is evidence of inferior turbinate enlargement an inferior turbinate reduction may be necessary to restore your breathing. In situations where the nasal obstruction is from a deviated septum an endoscopic septoplasty is required to maximize nasal breathing. If nasal valve collapse is the cause then a nasal valve repair is needed to optimize your breathing. The treatment of nasal obstruction from sinus infections or nasal polyps may also require a procedure to remedy. The key is choosing an approach tailored to the severity and cause(s) of your nasal obstruction. There is not one single solution that is correct for every patient, and that’s why Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus is unique. We don’t promote a “cookie-cutter” approach to treatment like some other practices. Dr. Kuperan’s super specialized expertise and experience as a Rhinologist will make sure you get the best treatment so you can Breathe Better Now.