Whether it is sneezing, sniffles, or drainage, everyone periodically experiences nose-related symptoms. With the flu or a common cold, nasal symptoms can be uncomfortable. These are acute conditions, and the symptoms subside once you get over the infection. However, relief is usually short-lived for people with chronic conditions like allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever.
Usually, people with few to no nasal problems don’t have many reasons to think about their noses unless they dislike their appearance. However, the nose also plays a significant role in smelling and breathing.
As we inhale air through the nostrils, tiny hairs in the nasal cavity filter it. Nasal mucus traps microbes and dust particles. The nasal cavity warms and humidifies the air before it passes through the airway. Specialized receptors situated in the nasal cavity detect chemical odors, which we perceive as our sense of smell.
Therefore, nose problems can affect airflow into and out of the body and cause sufferers to breathe through their mouths. Nose problems may also impact smell and voice quality.
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Symptoms of Nose Problems
What are some of the defining characteristics of nose issues?
One of the most frequent nasal problems is nasal congestion, which leads to a stopped-up nose. Your body produces modest amounts of mucus throughout the day. However, mucus production increases substantially in different types of nasal conditions. More mucus equals nasal blockage if draining is insufficient.
Sneezing is a common symptom of many nasal conditions. It is not present in every nose issue, but nose irritation could trigger sneezing. However, this is not always because of an irritant. Instead, inflammation of the nasal lining could stimulate nasal sneeze receptors even without any irritant present. Nasal congestion can also provoke sneezing.
Small amounts of nasal mucus generated under normal circumstances usually go unnoticed. However, when excessive, this mucus will drain, causing a runny nose. The phlegm may vary in consistency, but the mucus is typically watery in a runny nose.
It may fluctuate in color from clear to white, yellow, green, or brown. Redness may be due to blood being present in the nasal cavity.
Loss of Smell
Sense of smell alterations may occur with any nasal condition. The medical term for a dulled sense of smell is hyposmia. In severe conditions, you may suffer anosmia or a complete loss of smell. Sometimes, you may catch a whiff of unpleasant odors despite no foul smell in the environment. This phenomenon is known as cacosmia.
Nasal pain may vary in nature and intensity. It could be a dull ache, throbbing, or burning pain. The pain may be constant or intermittent. Continually blowing the nose or sneezing aggravates nose discomfort, and in some cases, normal breathing may be painful. Nose pain is typically worse with nasal trauma, mainly when there is a fracture.
Nosebleeds, or epistaxis, maybe the side effect of an injury. However, it may occur with any nasal condition. Epistaxis is generally acute. The blood may be minor and streak the mucus, or there may be profuse bleeding with no signs of mucus.
Causes of Nose Problems
Several different nasal problems may cause one or more of the symptoms mentioned above. It is crucial to seek attention for nasal problems. Various diagnostic examinations may be necessary to detect the exact type of nasal issue.
Rhinitis is an allergy-related condition. Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when the nose lining is hypersensitive to dust, pollen, and other harmless substances. This sensitivity is a result of an overactive immune system triggered by exposure to these seemingly innocuous elements. As a result, the nasal lining gets inflamed, and symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing arise.
Antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids may effectively treat allergic rhinitis. If these medications are not helpful, schedule a consultation with a medical professional.
An array of infections could affect the nasal cavity. These infections are typically viral or bacterial. It may extend into the upper airways and the paranasal sinuses. The cold and flu are two viral infections involving the upper airways and nose. Bacterial rhinitis can occur with bacterial sinusitis, more likely in patients with chronic sinusitis or following a viral infection like a cold or the flu.
Antibiotics can treat a bacterial infection, while nasal corticosteroids help with inflammation. Saline irrigation with solutions or nasal sprays could wash away allergies or irritants. However, if the condition persists, you may need septoplasty to relieve blockage by reshaping the nasal septum.
An external blow to the nose and face can fracture the septum, commonly referred to as a broken nose. However, the trauma could also be internal. Aggressive nose picking or noxious chemicals entering the nasal passages through smoke, water, or air are ways an internal nose injury could occur.
For acute trauma causing nasal deformity or bleeding, rush to a doctor or emergency room as soon as possible. Applying a cold compress may provide temporary relief. Still, when a chronic situation exists, nasal or septal deviation needs surgical correction.
Common growths are nasal polyps within the nasal passage. These protrude from the nasal cavity lining. Small polyps may go unnoticed but are likely to become a problem during chronic inflammation.
Physicians may prescribe specific medications like antibiotics or corticosteroids to non-surgically treat nasal polyps. However, you may need endoscopic nose surgery to remove the growths.
Nose deformity may occur after disease, surgery, or trauma. It may also be congenital. A deviated septum is a common type of nasal deformity acquired at birth or during trauma. Rhinophyma is a skin disorder that causes an enlarged nose.
Whether the deformity has cosmetic or functional implications, nose surgeries like rhinoplasty and septoplasty are excellent procedures to resolve nose concerns.
When there is a displacement of the nasal wall between the nasal passages, there may be nosebleeds, congestion, or difficulty breathing.
Septoplasty surgery can move obstruction from the septum before reinserting the deviation to its natural position.
Enlargement of the middle and inferior turbinates may cause turbinate hypertrophy. Over-the-counter medications and surgical correction can treat turbinate hypertrophy.
Surgical removal of underlying tissue or bone surrounding the turbinates is only necessary for more severe cases of turbinate enlargement. Septoplasty also involves cutting into the nasal cavity to correct a deviated septum.
Nasal Valve Collapse
Nasal valve collapse is a breathing condition that can result in severe nasal congestion, mouth breathing, and snoring. Unsuccessful rhinoplasty, nasal trauma or fracture, and a deviated septum are all causes of nasal valve collapse.
Rhinoplasty surgery is the most effective treatment for nasal valve collapse. It can improve functional problems alongside any cosmetic concerns. Experienced surgeons use septal cartilage grafts, spreader grafts, and spreader flaps to correct nasal valve issues.
If you’re looking for the best surgeon to address your nasal concerns in Newport Beach and Orange County, consider triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali Sajjadian. He specializes in all plastic and reconstructive surgeries, but his passion is the nose.
Also, be sure to visit Dr. Sajjadian’s gallery and connect with him on both of his Instagram accounts @rhinoplastybysajjadian and @sajjadianplasticsurgery. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, and RealSelf pages.