Nasal obstruction may be the cause of your restless sleep, snoring
Nasal obstruction is one of the most common complaints that is evaluated and treated by otolaryngologists (also known as ear, nose and throat, or ENT, doctors).
Some ENT doctors have additional training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, a training in which they use their surgical skills in the area of cosmetic, functional and reconstructive surgery on the nose and face.
What causes nasal obstruction?
Nasal obstruction can be caused by many factors: environmental allergies, deviated nasal septum, enlargement of inferior turbinates (balloon-like tissues inside the nasal cavity that control the amount of airflow).
In addition, there may be other, less obvious causes of nasal obstruction.
The nose is structured like a suspension bridge. The central beam or mast (septum) is responsible for suspending the lateral nasal side wall, which is partially made up of thin cartilage.
If the cartilage is weak or deformed, it can collapse, leading to restriction of airflow. This condition is called nasal valve collapse. Just imagine a loose sail flapping in the wind, or an umbrella that is not fully open.
History of prior nasal surgery, injury or congenital nasal narrowing can lead to nasal valve narrowing and collapse. Your ENT or facial plastic surgeon is best qualified to evaluate and treat these concerns.
Nasal obstruction reduces quality of life and may cause restless sleep, chronic mouth breathing, daytime fatigue, headaches, snoring and reduced exercise tolerance.
What to expect during a visit
Your doctor will perform a thorough history and will examine your nose. It is helpful to know if you have tried nasal strips or nasal sprays in the past.
Your provider may also examine your nasal cavity with a small fiber-optic camera to make sure there are no nasal polyps or other sources of obstruction deeper inside the nasal cavity.
Surgical options vary from repair of deviated septum and reduction of inferior turbinates to more extensive nasal reconstructions such as rhinoplasty and repair of nasal valve collapse.
If you are tired of not breathing well, or wearing those menacing nasal strips, call our clinic and come in for a consultation with Dr. Shvidler.
About The Author
Joseph Shvidler, MD, practices at MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park and is a double board certified ENT/Facial Plastic Surgeon. He has performed more than 500 nasal surgeries during his career. He has also developed highly successful individualized treatment strategies for his nasal obstruction patients.More stories by this author