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Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Nasal Obstruction

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If you have the feeling that your sinuses are “blocked” or “congested,” or if you’re unable to breathe through the nose overall, you may have nasal obstruction.

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This sensation may be felt on just one side of the nose, or both, sometimes alternating back and forth. There are three common explanations for this:

  • Deviated Septum: The septum is in the middle of your nose and divides the left and right nostrils. Its normal position is situated right in the middle of the nose, but when it is not, it is known as a deviated septum.
  • Turbinate Hypertrophy: Turbinates are structures on the inside of the nose that filter, warm, and humidify the air we breathe. The moist mucus lining of the turbinates provide water in this process. When the mucosa becomes inflamed, it can cause nasal obstruction.
  • Nasal Valve Compromise: The nasal valve is the narrowest cross-sectional area of the nasal cavity and is a major determinant of nasal airflow. Nasal valve compromise is a common, yet under recognized cause of nasal obstruction.

Other medical reasons may include chronic rhinosinusitis, allergies, nasal polyps, or rarely, nasal tumors.

5Common Symptoms

  • Nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • Nasal blockage
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty getting enough air through the nose during exercise or exertion

Diagnosis and Treatment

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Our Sinus Center is comprised of surgeons and supportive staff specially trained to care for your sinuses and related nasal disorders.

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