Nasal obstruction treatment
What is Nasal Obstruction?
Nasal obstruction happens when one or both nasal cavities become blocked and make it difficult to breathe through the nose. There are several causes that can prevent airflow through the nose.
The runny nose due to a cold causes nasal congestion.
However, when the symptom persists after the discomfort goes away or appears for no apparent reason it may be the product of other more serious condition that should be treated by an otolaryngologist.
Nasal obstruction can be caused by different problems such as: deviated septum, nasal polyps, rhinitis, adenoids, enlarged turbinates, cysts, tumors, sinus infection, etc.
Is important that if you think you suffer from any of these conditions you should go to a doctor who will identify the main reason and recommend a specific treatment.
How to know if you have a nasal obstruction? What are the symptoms?
The main symptom is the inability to breathe through the nose; air does not pass through nose cavity as it was meant to be naturally, this symptom can be confused with the discomfort of a common cold. There are other conditions that accompany nasal obstruction:
Severe or moderate pressure or discomfort may be felt on one side of the face, it is quite common during sinusitis.
When the sinuses and nose cavity are blocked, they may be dryness and this generates bleeding due to irritation.
Noisy breathing during sleep:
Nasal blockage is one of the main reasons for snoring, especially in people with deviated septums.
Lack of mental concentration:
Brain oxygenation is interrupted and intellectual normality is affected in the long term.
Low physical condition:
You can feel tired when doing sports and have a low performance on the jobs or during physical activities.
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Nasal obstruction treatment
Treatment will depend on the diagnosis dictated by the otolaryngologist. If you feel you are suffering from nasal obstruction you can make an appointment with Dr. Lech located in Panama to find a quick solution.
When the cause of the obstruction is established, the treatment can be defined as medical, non-surgical or surgical.
It has a pharmacological principle that works in cases of allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. Is recommended that the patient takes anti-allergic inhalers and corticosteroids to improve the condition and get the nasal cavity back to normal.
Saline cleansing is also an option for those cases of mucus or cold.
This surgical treatment consists in unblocking the nose cavities, this case is possible to remove cysts or tumors, extract nasal polyps, reconstruct the deviated septum, treat turbinates or adenoids, depending on the case of each patient.
This is the most effective method to solve nasal obstruction.
Nasal obstruction types
The level of obstruction is differentiated down to a type in order to provide information that is more assertive to patients.
Is diagnosed when the patient has more than three consecutive months of nasal blockage.
This type of pathology happens when the patient has suffered it for a period of less than three months.
Is a condition where the size of the turbinates inside the nose increases and causes an obstruction.
Causes breathing difficulty on both sides of the nose and is usually due to allergic and inflammatory causes like rhinitis and sinusitis.
Why is it so important to treat nasal obstruction? What consequences does it brings?
Is a pathology that must be treated quickly to avoid consequences. It is important to know that not being able to breathe properly the body begins to have an oxygen deficit that can affect the general health of the patient.
Side effects involves respiratory problems, infections of the larynx and pharynx, decreased of sense of smell, ventilatory failure, cardiovascular problems and sexual dysfunction.
It is therefore necessary to treat the pathology as quickly as possible before it worsens to long term health.
Causes of nasal obstruction.
Nasal obstruction or congestion can be triggered by several factors; the main cause must be determined in order to recommend a treatment to solve the problem, such as:
- Septal deviation: The cartilage that separates the nostrils from the nose can become modified and cause an interruption in the passage of air during breathing. This problem in the septum may be due to a genetic condition or physical damage as a result of traumatic injury.
- Tumor or polyp growth: This is the accelerated growth of tissues in the nose which end up becoming dumplings that block nasal function. It is the least common condition for the diagnosis of nasal obstruction.
- Allergic reaction: Patients with a history of allergic rhinitis may develop chronic nasal congestion, as well as when exposed to foods to which they are intolerant and even to allergy-causing drugs.
- Virus cold: Virus infection also causes nasal obstruction, although it is accompanied by a variety of additional symptoms that may be mistaken for rhinitis.
- Presence of foreign objects in the nose: Pediatric patients especially can suffer from this problem. Thanks to their curiosity, they can introduce various small objects in the nose that end up blocking its functioning. All this without the parents noticing it.
- Exposure to toxic gases: This group includes all those chemicals that emanate gases and are inhaled by the patient, such as: cigarette or tobacco smoke, carbon dioxide from cars, bathroom cleaners, decongestant medications, perfumed fragrances, etc.
- Emotional factors: Some cases of nasal obstruction or congestion are related to patients’ emotional burdens, stress, anxiety and depression can be situations that trigger this symptom.
Can nasal obstruction be prevented?
Yes, it can. Methods to prevent nasal obstruction are based on avoiding the conditions that trigger nasal obstruction. That is, maintaining a routine of virus and/or allergy prevention, e.g., frequent hand washing helps prevent virus infection as well as avoiding allergens helps minimize rhinitis.
By keeping under control the conditions that have nasal obstruction as a symptom, it is possible to avoid this discomfort.
Remember that nasal obstruction can lead to chronic conditions due to oxygen deficiency that can cause a decrease in the amount of air passing through the nose.
Frequently asked questions
Can nasal obstruction affect the voice?
Yes, the development of nasal obstruction causes the air the patient gets to go directly to the pharynx causing irritation to the vocal cords.
How long can nasal congestion last?
The time of this discomfort will depend on the type of condition that causes it. For example, a common cold may disappear within 3 to 7 days, while cases of rhinitis or tumors require a longer and more specific treatment.
Consultation with an otolaryngologist to know the diagnosis of your discomfort and to define the most efficient route of treatment.
Dr. Lech is an otolaryngology specialist in Panama and can help you. Schedule an appointment.
What can I do to reduce nasal congestion?
There are several treatments that help reduce nasal congestion, whose application will depend on the cause of the obstruction. However, here are some options:
- Nasal irrigation: They clean the mucus, bacteria or allergens that cause irritation of the nose and free the sinuses.
- Steam bath: Steam expands and relieves inflammation of the nose. Essences such as eucalyptus, mint or peppermint can be added to the water to help with the expansion process.
The process consists of boiling water, removing it from the fire and taking advantage of the hot steam to inhale it. Its effectiveness can be increased by covering the face with a towel in front of the pot. It is important to do it at a safe distance and be careful not to burn the skin of the face.
Is it safe to use decongestant medications for long periods of time?
No, decongestant medications fulfill their function during the period recommended by an ENT physician. After a prolonged period of time, the body develops resistance and the drug loses its effectiveness in decongestion. Besides, it can generate an adverse effect and become an irritant product of the nasal passages.
Consult with a medical specialist in the area to determine the ideal treatment for your case. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lech.