Dr.K.O.Paulose FRCS DLO, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Jubilee Hospital, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Chronic Nasal Obstruction
Chronic nasal obstruction can be treated by variety of ways medical and surgical. The nose is a complex organ that gives us a passage for breathing, warms and humidifies air, allows us to smell, and provides a passage for sinus drainage. Any or all of the structural elements of the nose can become blocked and result in various symptoms, including blocked breathing, headaches, snoring, loss of smell or taste and sinusitis.
Common medications used to treat the various causes of nasal congestion include:
- Topical nasal steroid spray
- Topical nasal antihistamine spray
- Oral antibiotic
- Oral steroid
- Oral antihistamine
If the above treatments have been attempted and the symptoms persist, then surgery can be very helpful for the patient who suffers with chronic nasal congestion. Surgical treatments for nasal congestion include radiofrequency turbinate ablation (Coblation) and laser turbinate surgery.(LAPT)
Can nasal congestion cause snoring?
During sleep, the body naturally tries to breathe through the nose. When nasal congestion forces mouth breathing during sleep, greater negative pressure develops behind the uvula and soft palate causing vibration of the soft palate and uvula.
Other major risk factors for snoring include:
- Large tonsils
- Long uvula and palate
- Large tongue with respect to the jaw size.
In some cases, snoring is a sign of a medical condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea exists when significant breath holding or shallow breathing episodes occur during sleep. A sleep study is generally required to differentiate between snoring and OSA. Similar treatments are beneficial for both snoring and OSA. If you suffer from nasal congestion, snoring, or suspect sleep apnea contact your local ENT specialist.