Up here in the Great Northwest, we all occasionally experience problems with colds or allergies, and we get congested as a result. Persistent congestion, however, is a different problem, and leads to a number of associated issues.
One of the most common of these problems is nasal airway obstruction. When the normal airflow function of the nose is disrupted, the result is chronic mouth breathing, which in turn often leads to problems such as:
- Sore Throat
- Plugged or popping ears
- Post-nasal drainage
- Voice changes
- A sense of a “lump” in the throat
People who snore (and those who sleep next to them) can attest to the fact that the snoring often gets worse with nasal congestion. In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, a poor nasal airway may dramatically worsen the problem.
FIND THE CAUSE OF NASAL OBSTRUCTION
A deviated septum is one of the more common causes. The septum is the partition that divides the nasal airway into two sides. Even something as innocent as a fall in early childhood can cause the septum to move (or deviate), narrowing the airway. Depending on the severity of the incident that caused it to move, this may result in obstruction of one or both sides, and can vary from mild to severe.
Other causes of nasal obstruction include chronic inflammation of tissue in the nose, as well as the growth of abnormal polyps in the sinuses, which can become obstructive over time.
Regardless of the cause of your nasal obstruction, when you come in to Northwest Face & Body for a consultation, your ENT doctor will make an accurate assessment of all possible contributing factors, and then build a plan to successfully relieve the problem.
TREATMENT OF NASAL OBSTRUCTION
If the cause of the obstruction is chronic inflammation, your ENT doctor may recommend treating it with the use of anti-inflammatory sprays. Structural problems require surgery, namely septoplasty – which is a simple and extremely effective procedure in correcting the nasal obstruction. Often other additional minimally invasive procedures can be done to help resolve the congestion.
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