It’s hard to enjoy life when good sleep is impossible and vigorous exercise is out of the question. Any obstruction in the nasal airway can dramatically impact these activities, along with any number of day-to-day tasks.
Nasal obstructions are caused by anything that restricts airflow in and out of the nose, typically due to swelling of nasal tissue or a blockage. Most obstructions are caused by allergies, sinus infections, medications or colds.
Studies have shown that nasal obstructions affect 33% of the population. There are several common types:
Deviated septum is very common. The nasal septum divides the left and right nostril. If you have a crooked, deviated septum, you will probably have difficulty breathing through the nose and can frequently experience a runny nose.
Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is caused by swelling of the bony structures in the nasal cavity. These structures are called turbinates, and they help warm, humidify and filter the air we breathe. They are constantly changing in size, enlarging or contracting to the environment around us. These bony structures are susceptible to allergies and dust, which can cause them to become swollen and create difficulties breathing.
Choanal atresia is a congenital defect in which excess tissue blocks the nasal airway and results in difficulty breathing.
Other nasal obstructions can be caused by foreign objects in the nose. Nasal polyps, narrow nose, nasal fracture and swelling of the lining in the nose caused by allergies also produce nasal obstructions. Other medical conditions can cause obstructions, such as allergic rhinitis, hay fever, non-allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, environmental irritants (smoke or dust) and certain blood pressure medications.
You might be suffering from nasal obstruction if you have any of these symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing during exercise
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble breating through your nose
- Facial Pain
- Nasal congestion
Most nasal obstructions are temporary, caused by colds, allergies and sinus infections. The first step to treating nasal obstructions is to get the symptoms under control. These can be treated by avoiding allergens and taking antihistamines, decongestants, inhaled nasal steroids, antibiotics, and saline sprays to humidify the nose. In the event that symptoms don’t improve after medications or nasal steroid sprays, medical intervention or surgery may be necessary and can provide lifelong relief and enhance your quality of life.
There are various in-office treatments for nasal obstruction. Depending on the symptoms and after an extensive evaluation, Dr. Shuaib may recommend a minimally invasive procedure that shrinks the turbinate tissue with radiofrequency.
If you experience any symptoms of nasal obstruction, schedule an appointment with Dr. Stefan Shuaib for a thorough evaluation, on-site diagnostics and treatment.
Dr. Stefan Shuaib is one of the top head and neck surgeons in Texas and provides on-site diagnosis and treatment in the Rio Grande Valley. If you are concerned about any changes or symptoms you have been experiencing, it is important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shuaib by calling (956) 362-8125.