Nasal airway obstruction can be uncomfortable and annoying. Blocked nasal passages force you to breathe through your mouth, making simple, everyday activities such as eating, speaking, and sleeping more difficult. Sometimes the cause of nasal airway obstruction is enlarged turbinates. Turbinates are small, bony structures located in the nasal passages that are covered with mucous membranes.
Nasal turbinates facilitate the conduction, filtration, heating, and humidification of the air we breathe, and can be affected by a variety of factors. Allergies or environmental irritants (such as smoke or household chemicals) are the most common cause of irritation, inflammation, and enlargement of turbinates, resulting in blocked nasal passages. Additional causes of turbinate enlargement include anatomical factors (such as a deviated septum) and hormonal changes (such as those that occur during pregnancy). Turbinate size can also fluctuate throughout the day, especially depending on head position (i.e. standing up versus lying down).
Treatment for Nasal Airway Obstruction
Traditional medical therapy, including allergen/irritant avoidance and/or use of nasal medications, may be sufficient to address turbinate enlargement. In some cases, however, turbinate enlargement is unresponsive to medical management.
When nasal obstruction becomes a chronic condition, the ADVENT Sinus & Allergy Center performs turbinate reduction to help patients breathe better. This procedure utilizes coblation, an advanced technology that quickly removes and shrinks soft tissue inside the turbinates with gentle radiofrequency energy and natural saline. Coblation is a low-heat process that precisely targets enlarged turbinates and preserves surrounding healthy tissue. Turbinate reduction is performed in our offices under local anesthesia and takes less than 10 minutes. Patients typically return home shortly after the procedure, and can experience a 50% reduction in nasal airway obstruction within one week.
Contact us today at the ADVENT Sinus & Allergy Center to discover if turbinate reduction is right for you.