How to Tell if You Need Turbinate Reduction Surgery
I have already posted this week about balloon sinuplasty, the minimally invasive sinus therapy that can relieve many sinus symptoms without knives or scars. But what if your nasal obstruction symptoms are not sinus related, i.e. the problem lies in the nasal cavity?
Nasal blockages can arise from any number of causes – infection, polyps, trauma, or anatomy. If your nasal obstruction does not respond to medical interventions, it’s possible that a structural flaw may be to blame. A nasal examination or Sinus CT imaging can help your sinus doctor diagnose the problem, which could include any number of asymmetries, deformities, and growths. One of the most common of these is enlarged turbinates.
Turbinates are bony structures within your nasal cavity. When they are operating properly, these structures help to scrub the air your breathe and warm it before it reaches your lungs. But turbinates can also become enlarged due to infection and inflammation, a process which can eventually obstruct your breathing. People whose turbinates are unusually large often experience more nasal congestion following a cold than others. The cumulative effect is obligatory mouth breathing and nasal obstruction.
The only permanent solution for enlarged turbinates is turbinate reduction surgery. In this simple procedure, a precision medical device known as a microdebrider is used to remove unwanted tissue and create a better airway for open breathing. The procedure is generally safe and efficient, although it is essential to contact an experienced sinus surgeon for this kind of procedure – your turbinates serve an important function which cannot be impaired. It is important to reduce the size of the turbinates while maintaining their function. The surgery often results in instant relief, which improves further over time as the swelling fades.
If your nasal obstruction has not responded to medical interventions such as steroids or antibiotics, it is time to consider turbinate reduction surgery to solve the problem once and for all. Please contact our ENT offices today for more information.