Nasal Obstruction

Nasal obstruction or congestion has various causes, including:

  • Allergies
  • Environmental irritants
  • Nasal turbinate enlargement
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Viral infection or “cold”
  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Adenoid enlargement
  • Foreign bodies
  • Benign and malignant nasal tumors

Treatment of Congestion

Treatment of nasal congestion typically begins with medical therapy. It includes conservative treatments such as avoiding known allergens and using nasal saline irrigations. Common medications are also used, including:

  • Topical nasal steroid sprays
  • Topical nasal antihistamine sprays
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Oral steroids
  • Oral antibiotics (if bacterial infection is present)

An anatomic blockage does not necessarily require surgery. However, it can be a helpful option if other therapies prove unsuccessful.

Surgical treatments for nasal congestion can be performed in the office or in the operating room. Office treatments for nasal obstruction include radiofrequency turbinate ablation. Operating room treatments include:

  • Septoplasty (to correct a deviated nasal septum)
  • Turbinate reduction (typically a submucous resection)
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Nasal valve surgery