Arizona Sinus Phoenix Sinus ENT and Allergy

Nasal Congestion and Obstruction

Nasal congestion (obstructed nose or diminished airflow through the nose) is certainly uncomfortable but this can also lead to many dental and medical problems. The nose is the filter that cleans and conditions the air before it gets to our delicate lungs. When the nose is bypassed due to inflamed, swollen tissue, a deviated septum, nasal polyps or enlarged adenoids, harsh air goes directly to the lungs by way of the mouth and throat. This is not natural and has been linked to lower respiratory problems, such as restricted bronchial passages in asthmatic patients 1,2. Chronic nasal congestion and the resultant mouth breathing can lead to gingivitis (gum disease), cavities, halitosis (bad breath), chronic reactive airway disease, chronic sore throat, obstructive sleep apnea and, in young children, midfacial skeletal changes. Our physicians have extensive training in the evaluation and treatment of nasal disorders. Many cases of nasal obstruction and congestion can be treated with safe medical therapies. A smaller percentage of cases of nasal obstruction require surgical treatment to alleviate the blocked airway and restore healthy nasal breathing. Our physicians will find the source of your nasal obstruction and discuss the spectrum of treatment options with you.

Medical treatment for nasal obstruction and congestion

  • Nasal saline rinses
  • Nasal steroid sprays
  • Nasal steroid/antihistamine spray combination
  • Allergen avoidance
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots)*

*We do not perform allergy testing or shots but can refer you to an allergy specialist for this if deemed necessary.

Patients who do not have resolution of nasal obstruction with the above medical treatments may be candidates for the following surgical procedures with our surgeons here at the Arizona Sinus Center.

Surgical Treatment of Obstructed Breathing & Nasal Congestion

  1. McLane ML, Nelson JA, Lenner KA, et al. Integrated response of the upper and lower respiratory tract of asthmatic subjects to frigid air. J Appl Physiol 2000; 88:1043–1050.
  2. Griffin MP, McFadden ER Jr. Ingram RH Jr. Airway cooling in asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects during nasal and oral breathing. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1982; 69:354–359.

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