Nose deseases

Nasal obstruction

Besides out ability to smell, our nose and paranasal sinuses have to moisten, warm up and clean the air we breathe. But if anatomical changes of the inner or outer structure of the nose or allergies cause a nasal obstruction and make breathing difficult, it may also reduce our quality of life.

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Symptoms nasal obstruction

The most frequent symptom of nasal obstruction is snorting at night, followed by sleep disturbances, headache and tiredness, also affecting our partners. However, nasal obstruction may also reduce our quality of life during sports activities or in case of pre-existing allergies, e.g., hay fever.

Symptoms of nasal obstruction at a glance:

  • snorting at night
  • head ache
  • dry throat (sometimes accompanied by the compulsion to clear your throat)
  • olfactory dysfunction
  • chronic cold
  • chronic tiredness
  • relationship problems

Causes nasal obstruction

Changes of the inner or outer nose in terms of nasal obstruction can be hereditary or acquired, e.g., as a result of an accident. Allergies, e.g., hay fever, often cause our mucous glands to produce more mucus that worsens the mechanical obstruction of the nose. Furthermore, pathological changes of the paranasal sinuses (e.g., caused by allergies) like mucous cysts or adenoids can bring about more mucus than usual.

Causes of nasal obstruction at a glance:

  • nasal septum deviation
  • enlarged nasal concha
  • chronic sinusitis (e.g., cysts, adenoids)
  • allergies
  • crooked nose

Diagnostics nasal obstruction

Nasal obstruction can be treated best if choosing the right diagnostic procedures like mirror and headlight examination, nasal endoscopy, sonography, computed tomography, cone beam computed tomography or MRI.
If allergies are suspected, a skin prick test or RAST (blood) will be carried out. Presumptive germs in the nose make a swab of the nasal mucus necessary in order to analyze it microbiologically.
Suffering from sleep apnea (paused breathing) at night, morning tiredness and decrease in fitness, a sleep study at a sleep lab is indicated.

Diagnostic options of nasal obstruction at a glance:

  • mirror and headlight examination
  • nasal endoscopy
  • sonography
  • computed tomography (CT)
  • cone beam computed tomography
  • MRI
  • microbiological analysis
  • allergy test (PRICK and RAST)
  • sleep lab

Treatment nasal obstruction

Generally, the causes of nasal obstruction but not only its symptoms must be treated. Given an allergy, allergen immunotherapy will be carried out. In case of anatomical changes causing nasal obstruction, surgery will reduce or help get rid of the symptoms. After an unsuccessful conservative therapy (non-surgical), surgery would be the next step. If nasal septum deviation is the culprit behind nasal obstruction, minimally invasive septoplasty makes sense.