Nasal obstruction is usually due to swelling of the tissues that line the nasal cavity or an anatomical blockage which causes a narrowing of the nasal cavity resulting in a sensation that the nasal passages are congested. Nasal obstruction is a component of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Treating nasal congestion often improves snoring and OSA significantly. The treatment of nasal obstruction includes medications and procedures that can be performed in our office or at our outpatient surgery.
The forms of nasal congestion that can be treated with medications include the common cold, allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, or environmental irritants like dust or smoke. Treatment includes nasal saline spray, saline irrigations, oral hydration, steam exposure including humidifiers, oral or topical antihistamines, oral or topical steroids, or antibiotics.
If nasal congestion persists despite the above treatment regimens, then procedures to clear the nasal airway may be helpful. Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that can be performed in our office to treat nasal congestion associated with sinus blockage. The balloon is placed in the sinus opening and expanded to widen the narrow passageway between the sinus and the nose. In some cases, the balloon can be used to straighten the septum as well. In addition, a Vivaer procedure can be performed in the office to widen narrow areas in the front of the nose that may not be addressed with other nasal surgeries. Lastly, in patients with chronic runny nose and postnasal drip, a Rhinaer procedure has been shown to be very effective at treating these symptoms as well.
Procedures to treat nasal obstruction at our outpatient surgery center include endoscopic turbinoplasty, septoplasty, nasal polyp removal, and endoscopic sinus surgery. Our patients rarely need nasal packing, stents or splints after surgery. They are usually able to return to school or work 2-3 days after surgery.
Nasal obstruction is a common problem that has a real impact on daily living and sleep quality. We look forward to assisting you with improving the quality of your nasal breathing so that you can work, play and sleep better.
Please review this video that describes how to understand nasal and sinus CT scans.