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NasalStuffinessIt has been estimated that 20 million people suffer from nasal airway obstruction. The nasal valve is the narrowest part of the nasal passage and involves three principal structures – the septum*, the lateral nasal walls* and the turbinates*. Nasal airflow is reduced when any of these structures enlarges, thus decreasing the overall nasal airway space. Nasal airway obstruction can dramatically affect your overall quality of life.

*The septum is a wall that separates the inside of the nose. The mucosal lining can enlarge, creating septal swell bodies.

*The lateral nasal walls form the outer area of the nostril. If this area weakens it creates nasal valve collapse and reduces airflow.

*Turbinates are projections in the nose that warm, humidify and filter the air. Enlargement of the turbinates causes a restriction of airflow.

Common Symptoms of Nasal Airway Obstruction

  • Nasal congestion
  • Trouble breathing through the nose
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose during exercise
  • Mouth breathing

Nasal Airway Obstruction Treatment

A comprehensive physical examination will be performed including nasal endoscopy to determine the cause of the obstruction. CT scan imaging may be obtained to exclude a sinus cause for the NAO. Allergy testing can also be performed to assess allergic causes of NAO.

First line therapy can include oral and topical decongestants, antihistamines and/or steroids to reduce nasal mucosal swelling of the nose. Historically, when patients fail conservative therapy, nasal surgery has been the mainstay of treatment for NAO. This procedure involves surgical incisions and rearranging the cartilage and bone inside the nose.

Additionally, there is a minimally invasive technique called Vivaer® for the treatment of NAO. Vivaer utilizes low temperature radiofrequency energy to gently reshape the inside of the nose to improve nasal airflow. This is performed in the office setting under local anesthesia, avoiding general anesthesia and all the side effects associated with it. This approach allows a faster recovery and the patient can return to work the next day.

Our practice offers comprehensive nasal airway obstruction care including medical management, allergy testing, in-office CT scans, and in-office procedures (Vivaer) or surgery if necessary. For further information, or to book an appointment with one of our physicians contact us at our Plantation (954-476-0400) or Coral Springs (954-796-0400) office.

ENT Sinus and Allergy of South Florida

220 S.W. 84th Ave, Suite 101  •  Plantation, Florida 33324  •  954-476-0400
3100 Coral Hills Drive, Suite 307  •  Coral Springs, Florida 33065  •  954-796-0400
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