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Nasal Congestion

What are the nasal turbinates?

Located on the inside of the nose just upstream from the flare of the nostrils, the nasal turbinates are three pairs of long, thin bones and associated cartilage. The turbinates are lined with mucosal tissue that can expand or contract to help adjust the temperature, the moistness and the velocity of incoming air as we inhale.

What are hypertrophic turbinates?

This term means that the either the tissue lining the turbinates is swollen, or the bones themselves are enlarged enough to cause obstruction of the nasal airways.

What causes swollen turbinates?

In some people, the turbinates or their underlying structure (the nasal chonchae) are enlarged from birth. For many others, the turbinates become swollen because of allergy, bacterial or viral infection, exposure to environmental irritants like dust or chemicals, or altered air flow due to deviation elsewhere in the nasal airway.

How are swollen turbinates diagnosed?

An ear, nose & throat specialist (ENT), will ask questions about your medical history and conduct a physical exam that can include inspecting the airway with an endoscopic camera inserted through the nostril.

How are swollen turbinates treated?

If the cause of the hypertrophy is infection, allergy or environmental irritant, your doctor may recommend antibiotic for a bacterial infection, nasal decongestants or steroids to help reduce swelling, and a waiting period to see if the condition begins to improve. In persistent or chronic cases, your ENT specialist might recommend surgery to reduce the obstruction.

What surgeries are used in turbinate reduction?

There are several different approaches available, depending on the ENT's assessment of the problem. These include electrocauterization, radiofrequency reduction, microdebrider resection, partial resection and COBLATION.

What is a COBLATION Turbinate Reduction?

A COBLATION turbinate reduction is the use of a COBLATION wand to reduce the size of hypertrophic nasal turbinates.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2016 Smith & Nephew, All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Rhinitis

Rhinitis is the medical term for inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages. The symptoms of rhinitis include swollen, stuffy nasal passages. This is caused by your body's response to irritants, which is to release histamine, a natural amine that dilates blood vessels in the mucosal membranes that line your nasal passages. The result is the swollen, stuffy sensation, often accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. The symptoms of rhinitis can also extend to swollen nasal turbinates.

Allergic Rhinitis and Hay Fever - One cause of rhinitis is allergic reaction to inhaled substances, for example, dust, pollen or pet dander. In some cases, an allergy to food or medication can cause swollen airways.

If you experience congestion, sneezing and runny nose every year in the same season, or catch cold frequently, the cause could be hay fever, medically known as allergic rhinitis. The pollen-heavy days of spring, and the dry, dusty conditions of autumn are prime seasons for hay fever. For relief of allergy symptoms, many doctors recommend non-prescription decongestant remedies, or more powerful prescription antihistamines for severe or persistent allergies.

Non-allergic (Vasomotor) Rhinitis- Vasomotor rhinitis is swelling of the airway that is not caused by allergy. It can be triggered by exposure to environmental irritants, dry air, medications, or even intense emotion. Viral and bacterial infections can cause swelling of the nasal tissues, setting off the release of mucous. There's no vaccine at present for rhinovirus, but viral infections typically begin clearing up after 10 days to two weeks. Similar symptoms accompany bacterial infections, which may persist for a longer period. See a doctor if a stuffy, runny nose hangs on for more than about 10 days. If the diagnosis indicates a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help end the symptoms and speed recovery.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2016 Smith & Nephew, All Rights Reserved.

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