Blocked Nose

A blocked nose can be caused by a variety of reasons. An accurate diagnosis will go a long way in resolving the issue. Often one get used to not breathing through  the nose clearly that one forgot what a breath air feels like.

The nose is divided into 2 halves by the septum. On each side of the nose are structures growing from the outer walls called turbinates. Each one of us has 3 pairs of turbinates.

Blockage of the nose can be due to structural changes or additional material in the nasal passages causing blockage.

Structural Causes

  1. Deviated Nasal Septum: This is caused by injury or trauma to the nose. Often this happens during our childhood days. To correct this, surgical intervention is required.
  2. Turbinate Hypertrophy.: The inferior or the lowermost turbinate can fluctuate in size. It consist of a bony turbinate covered by soft tissue. The soft tissue fluctuates with allergy and infection. By shrinking the turbinates with a procedure called coblation turbinate reduction or radiofrequency reduction, one can obtain a clear airway  through this outpatient procedure taking about 15 minutes.
  3. Often there is a combination of a deviated nasal septum and turbinate hypertrophy. If this is so, both areas will need to be addressed.

Mucus, Growths

  1. A flu with mucus and phlegm can block the nose. Treating this will revert the condition
  2. Nasal Polyps: This are outgrowth from the nose. While they are benign, they can grow very large and obstruct the airway, causing sinus infection and poor sense of smell. Treatment is by a combination of medication and surgery. They are also related to food allergy. This will also need to reevaluated to prevent recurrence of the polyps
  3. Tumours in the nose can also cause obstruction and a blocked nose. Bleeding or blood stained mucus may be signs of this.

In general if your blocked nose last more than a week, it should be assessed by a physician.

Contact us if you have any issues with a blocked nose.

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