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Your nose functions to clear, humidify, filter, and warm the air you breathe. For these reasons, a normal nasal function is essential.
Nasal Obstruction is not uncommon and contributes to troubled breathing and restless sleep among people of all ages. Children and adults alike can experience difficulty breathing. Symptoms range from congestion, cough, headaches, to mouth-breathing and sleep apnea. All in all, they most definitely are treatable. The four most common causes for nasal obstruction.
Deformities of the nasal septum also referred to as a deviated septum, can cause difficulty breathing. Patients may experience enlargement of the inferior turbinates. These nasal structures direct airflow within the nose and create the nasal cycle. Turbinates can become swollen and constrict nasal passages due to allergies, chronic use of nasal decongestants or a collapse of an external nasal valve.
Treatments: Most effective treatment is Septoplasty, in which the deviated cartilage or bone is removed in efforts to straighten structure or relieve nasal obstruction. Depending on the location, rhinoplasty may be needed to reconstruct nose mechanism and appearance.
Change in weather or environment can lead to an allergic reaction to mold, pollen, and dust causing congestion. During an allergic reaction, your body mistakes a normally harmless substance as a dangerous invader and produces antibodies in order to protect itself. When exposed, antibodies release histamine and similar chemicals to clean out the substance by producing watery or thick clear nasal mucous to alleviate congestion.
Treatments: Medicine used to treat allergies are nasal or oral corticosteroids, decongestants, antihistamines, and allergy shots after confirming the causative allergens by skin Prick tests at our Allergy Clinic.
As a result of allergies and sinus infections the nasal polyps may develop from the sinus mucosa and hang into the nasal cavity causing obstruction to the air flow and blocking the mucus clearance pathways from the sinuses leading to chronic sinusitis. These soft grape-like growths, reside inside the nasal cavity causing severe or complete nasal obstruction in one or both passages of the nose. Although painless, the larger they grow, other side effects lead to loss of smell and frequent infections. Sometimes these polyps by sheer pressure on the thin ethmoid bones cause the complications and may cause pressure on the eyeball causing proptosis. Sometimes these polyps cause pressure on the optic nerve leading to reduced vision and if the infection sets in the person may loose the vision too.Sometimes sheer pressure from the polyps cause destruction of the lamella papyracea and press on the orbital contents and cause diplopia.
Treatments: Medications common for nasal polyps consist of nasal corticosteroids (oral or injectable), antihistamines, and antibiotics and are used in an effort to reduce the size or eliminate nasal polyps. If medication fail to shrink the size or does not control the infection endoscopic surgery may be needed to remove and correct problems to eliminate inflammation and future nasal polyp development. Functional endoscopic Sinus Surgery (F.E.S.S ) is performed using high definition cameras on sinuscopes and microdebriders.
An ongoing cold can lead to a sinus infection, where a viral or bacterial infection causes increase blood flow to the nose and results in swelling. Once the nasal membranes have become congested, excess mucus blocks the nasal airway and discolored secretions obstruct the nose and drain into the throat causing a cough.
Treatments: Over the counter medications, including antihistamines and decongestants. Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics, while specialists may look into surgery to resolve issues with chronic sinusitis more successfully. Removing the blockage created by damaged tissue in combination with antibiotics.