Nasal obstruction are blockages of the nasal cavity that impede airflow in and out of the nose. Either one or both nostrils may be affected. Most nasal obstruction are temporary, caused by colds, allergies, sinus infections, or medications, while others require medical intervention.
Types of Nasal Obstruction
The most common types of nasal obstruction include:
- Deviated nasal septum. The nasal septum is the wall-like structure that divides the left and right nostrils. A deviated septum refers to one that is crooked. This is hardly rare; it is estimated that 80 percent of people have septal deviations to some degree. Symptoms include difficulty breathing through the nose (especially one nostril) and a runny nose.
- Inferior turbinate hypertrophy. The nasal cavity contains bony structures called turbinates. These are susceptible to irritation from allergies and dust, which cause swelling and breathing difficulties.
- Choanal atresia. This is a congenital defect in which excess tissue in the nasal airway causes a partial or full blockage, resulting in difficulty breathing.
- Nasal polyps. These benign growths that occur on the mucosal lining of the nasal passages. They are typically small and though noncancerous can still cause obstructions of the sinuses, leading to congestion, breathing problems and sinus infections.
- Foreign objects in the nose. Most cases of foreign objects in the nose occur in toddlers and children. Common objects include food material, tissue paper, beads, toys and rocks.
- Oversized adenoids. Adenoids are the pair of soft tissues masses located behind the nose and roof of the mouth that trap germs and create antibodies that aid the immune system in fighting off infection. They can easily become infected, which will cause them to become enlarged and block airflow through the nose.
- Nasal allergy. Allergies are the result of the immune system’s response to a harmless substance. When an allergen is encountered, antibodies are produced, which in turn triggers the release of chemicals called histamines. The release of histamine is responsible for the telltale symptoms of allergies, including swelling of the nasal lining.
Treating Nasal Obstruction
We will carefully examine your nose using a lighted scope and may use a CT scan or MRI in order to diagnose your nasal obstruction. The first step in treating nasal obstruction is getting the symptoms under control, and further treatment will be recommended once the cause is identified.
Short term relief may include topical nasal steroids or removal of a nasal foreign body, while long term solutions might include allergy control or even nasal procedures to address your obstruction.
If you’ve lived with nasal problems for a long time, it’s time to breathe easier! Let the specialists at DeFatta ENT & Allergy help, and call us at (715) 828-2368 to schedule an appointment.