You may be surprised that millions of Americans suffer the discomfort of nasal stuffiness on a consistent if not seasonal basis. This may be because of chronic breathing problems that don’t respond well to ordinary treatment. The stuffiness may be due to structural abnormalities inside the nose, like a deviated septum or from swelling caused by allergies and/or viruses.
In general, there are numerous causes of nasal obstruction. Like we mentioned above, a deviated septum (the partition between the nostrils) can be crooked or bent because of abnormal growth or injury. A deviated septum will partially or completely close one or both nasal passages. A septoplasty is a type of surgery that can correct a deviated septum. If needed or desired, cosmetic changes to the nose are often performed at the same time. This combination procedure is called septo-rhinoplasty.
Turbinates in your nose can become overgrown and is another cause of stuffiness. Turbinates are the tissues that line the inside of the nasal passages. Sometimes the turbinates need treatment to make them smaller and expand the nasal passages. Non-surgical treatments include injection and freezing. Allergies can also cause internal nasal swelling usually an allergy evaluation and therapy may be necessary.
Most people don’t realize that aging is another common cause of nasal obstruction. As we age, the cartilage in the nose and its tip are weakened by age and droop because of gravity. If this happens, it can cause the sides of the nose to collapse inward and obstruct air flow. Mouth breathing or noisy and restricted breathing are common complaints.
Here’s a trick you can do to see if nose surgery in will help your nose function more effectively: Try lifting the tip of your nose to see if you breathe better. If so, you may want to first try the external adhesive nasal strips at night. Or you can come in to our Santa Ana office for a consultation and we can talk about septoplasty or rhinoplasty, which will involve trimming, reshaping or repositioning portions of septal cartilage and bone. Top Santa Ana rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Ali Sajjadian is just the expert you need.
If you’re having nose surgery to improve the function of your nose, you should consider any cosmetic improvements you may want too because this is an ideal time to make other cosmetic improvements. After nose surgery, internal splints or soft packing may be placed in the nostrils to hold the septum in its new position. You can expect experience some swelling for a week or two. But once the packing is removed, most people enjoy a dramatic improvement in breathing.