What are the Common Causes of Nasal Obstruction?


The inability to breathe through your nose can be a frustrating experience. The good news is functional rhinoplasty procedures may repair underlying structural problems and restore proper airflow. This surgery is life-changing for many patients, and it may be an option for you.

So, what causes nasal obstruction, and how does functional rhinoplasty work? Below, members of The Rhinoplasty Society discuss the main reasons for nasal obstruction and how our members address them through advanced techniques like septoplasty and turbinoplasty.

Deviated septum

When the thin wall that separates the nostrils (or septum) is displaced to one side, it is called a deviated septum. Symptoms include a feeling of nasal obstruction, difficulty breathing through the nose, and sometimes a whistling sound when breathing. Post-nasal drip, frequent nosebleeds, and headaches are also common.

A deviated septum can be treated with septoplasty, a type of functional rhinoplasty. Septoplasty involves replacing or repositioning the septum to achieve the desired results. Your rhinoplasty surgeon may also recommend a tissue graft if cartilage needs to be rebuilt.

Enlarged turbinates

The turbinates are small, finger-like structures that filter and humidify air as it passes into the lungs. We have three sets of turbinates located on each side of the nasal cavity. Though turbinates can become temporarily enlarged due to allergies, they sometimes remain enlarged. This is also known as turbinate hypertrophy.

The board-certified members of The Rhinoplasty Society may perform turbinoplasty to reduce the size of the turbinates or turbinectomy to remove part or all of the affected tissue. A turbinoplasty may also be performed in conjunction with septoplasty for even better results. All procedures treat nasal obstruction and help you breathe better.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are small and benign growths that form on the nasal passages and sinuses. They are often caused by allergies, infection, or chronic inflammation. Polyps can create a feeling of fullness in the nose, decreased sense of smell, and post-nasal drip. Polyps also cause problems with snoring and sleep apnea.

Nasal polyps may be treated with medications like steroids, but in some cases, surgery is the best way to address the root of the issue. A trusted surgeon can perform functional rhinoplasty to remove nasal polyps and improve airflow.

Choosing the right rhinoplasty surgeon

Many people are unsure how to choose the right rhinoplasty surgeon. Some base their decision on location, while others select the first professional they find. However, not all surgeons are created equal. We encourage you to research and select a board-certified expert with experience performing the specific surgery (septoplasty, turbinoplasty, etc.) you require.

The Rhinoplasty Society is a great resource for finding surgeons who know how to achieve your desired results. Our members can perform functional rhinoplasty while offering excellent care. In addition, they have completed extensive training and are up-to-date on the latest rhinoplasty techniques.

Discover functional rhinoplasty

Whether your nasal obstruction is caused by a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, or nasal polyps, The board-certified surgeons from The Rhinoplasty Society can help. They have the experience and knowledge necessary to treat your condition.

If you are interested in learning about functional rhinoplasty or finding a qualified surgeon, please contact us today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.