Nasal congestion is the blockage of the nasal passages usually due to membranes lining the nose becoming swollen from inflamed blood vessels. It is also known as nasal blockage or nasal obstruction or blocked nose , also called stuffy nose or plugged nose .
Causes of Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion has a variety of causes, and is usually attributed to either a structural anatomic blockage or swelling of the nasal tissue. Both problems can narrow the nasal cavity and give a sensation of “nasal congestion”. The following is a list of potential causes of nasal congestion:
Treatment of nasal congestion typically begins with medical therapy along with conservative treatments such as avoiding known allergens and using nasal saline irrigations. Common medications used to treat the various causes of nasal congestion include:
• Topical nasal steroid spray
• Topical nasal antihistamine spray
• Oral antibiotic (in case of bacterial infection)
• Oral steroid
• Oral antihistamine
The presence of a physical blockage does not necessarily mean that surgery is required. However, if the above treatments have been attempted and the symptoms persist, then surgery can be very helpful for the patient who suffers with chronic nasal congestion. 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 (Somnoplasty, Coblation) and laser turbinate surgery.
Operating room treatments include; Correction of septal deviation (i.e., septoplasty ), Turbinate reduction, Endoscopic sinus surgery and Nasal valve surgery.
Keep in mind that surgery of any kind is a last resort after having tried drug therapy unsuccessfully.
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