Many people experience a feeling of nasal blockage that can range from mild to severe. Some people experience it on both sides and others very clearly only have blockage on one side. Symptoms can range inability to breath well at rest to symptoms that only occur when exercising. Nasal blockage can have drastic impact on our sense of wellbeing and our quality of life.
SYMPTOMS: Having a hard time breathing in through our nose, decreased sense of smell, feeling that nose is “closed”, snoring, poor sleep, fatigue, trouble with exertion or exercising, sinus symptoms, headaches, emotional distress, runny nose, nosebleeds, breathing from the mouth, dry mouth, dental problems, nasal breathing symptoms worsen with colds or allergies and awareness that nose can feel blocked on alternating sides.
CAUSES: Deviated nasal septum, turbinate hypertrophy, nasal valve collapse, nasal trauma/fracture, allergies, nasal polyps, sinusitis, present since birth and foreign bodies.
DIAGNOSIS: Nasal obstruction is diagnosed from a patient’s history and a good physical exam of the nose and sinus passages. Nasal Endoscopy is a diagnostic tool used to get a clear and thorough visualization of the inner nose and structures. A CT Scan is also very helpful in analyzing in the detail the structures of the inner to determine the cause of the symptoms.
TREATMENT: Initial treatment is medical and includes the use of medicated nasal sprays to try and improve the obstruction. Allergies should also be fully treated. Nasal saline rinses can also be used to help keep the nasal passages clear. If the medical treatment is not successful then procedures and surgeries like Septoplasty, Turbinoplasty, Cryoablation and Sinus Surgery can be considered.