What is the medical treatment to Nasal Obstruction?Nasal obstruction is a very common symptom affecting about 40% of the Australian population. It can affect both adults and children. There are many causes of nasal obstruction which may include allergic rhinitis (hayfever) or structural causes of congestion to the nasal airway. Nasal obstruction can especially problematic for patients who use CPAP for management of their Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) which relies on a clear nasal airway. It is very important to trial all medical treatments that your GP has prescribed. These may including nasal steroid sprays, nasal saline washing or other allergy managements such as oral/nasal antihistamines or immunotherapy. Allergy tests may be required if you have allergy symptoms such as sneezing, persistent runny noses or itchy eyes and a CT scan may be needed if you have other associated symptoms of sinusitis. If medical treatments have not improved your symptoms of nasal congestion, thorough assessment with video nasendoscpy will be performed to determine structural causes of nasal obstruction which may be limiting the effectiveness of medical treatment. These may include a deviated or bent nasal septum, enlarged turbinates (normal glands in the nose that humidify and warm the air that may have overgrown excessively)or less commonly nasal polyps and nasal masses obstructing your nasal passageway. If a structural abnormality is identified, fortunately most operations can now be performed endoscopically (key hole surgery) without the need for external incisions. A deviated septum can be corrected with either a septoplasty or septal reconstruction, whilst enlarge turbinates in the nose can be reduced in size with an endoscopic turbinoplasty which provides long term improvement of your nasal airway. These surgeries can generally be performed as a day surgery procedure.
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