What Is a Nasal Airway Obstruction? Here’s What You Need to Know
A nasal airway obstruction (NAO) is a medical condition in which a nasal passage is blocked. In this instance, a nasal obstruction can be exceedingly difficult to breathe through the nose. An NAO can also make it tough to speak, eat, and sleep.
At the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh can treat an NAO and other issues that hamper the nasal function. Dr. Azizzadeh is globally recognized for his facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and head and neck surgery expertise, and to date, has performed many nasal obstruction procedures. He understands the symptoms associated with an NAO and can help patients determine the root cause of the issue. Additionally, Dr. Azizzadeh can identify a safe, effective way to treat an NAO.
Nasal Airway Obstruction Symptoms
Common NAO symptoms include:
- Stuffy nose
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Trouble sleeping and/or getting sufficient air through the nose during exercise or other physical activities
People who experience one or more of the aforementioned NAO symptoms should seek medical support. Remember, the symptoms of an NAO may seem minor at first, but they can escalate over time. NAO symptoms won’t disappear on their own, either. On the other hand, Dr. Azizzadeh is happy to meet with a patient and evaluate their NAO symptoms. He can also learn about a patient, find out how long these symptoms have been occurring, and determine how an NAO happened.
What Causes a Nasal Airway Obstruction?
Nasal structure blockages can cause an NAO. These blockages can affect three areas of the nose:
The septum refers to the cartilage between the nostrils. If the septum becomes displaced on one side, one nasal passage can become smaller than the other; this condition is referred to as a deviated septum. If a deviated septum is severe, one side of the nose can be blocked. Also, people dealing with a deviated septum and swelling of the nasal tissue may experience an NAO.
Turbinates are nose structures that cleanse and humidify air as it moves from the nostrils into the lungs. They can become inflamed due to allergies, infection, or irritation. In any of these instances, people may experience an NAO, along with excess mucous that results in congestion.
3. Lateral Wall
The lateral wall of the nose helps humidify and filter air. If the lateral wall’s upper or lower cartilage becomes too weak, the wall may collapse inward when people inhale.
In addition to structural blockages in these areas of the nose, people may experience an NAO due to hormonal changes, allergies, a broken or fractured nose, and environmental irritants. There may be times when multiple factors contribute to a patient’s NAO, too.
Regardless of why an NAO occurs, it is crucial to pursue medical treatment. Thanks to Dr. Azizzadeh, a patient coping with NAO symptoms can immediately diagnose and treat these issues.
How Is a Nasal Airway Obstruction Diagnosed?
Initially, Dr. Azizzadeh examines a patient and learns about their NAO symptoms. He looks inside a patient’s nose and may try to spread the nostrils. Dr. Azizzadeh may also assess his patient’s nasal tissue before and after applying a decongestant spray.
Dr. Azizzadeh may conduct additional testing depending on the severity of his patient’s NAO symptoms. For example, if a patient is dealing with a nasal fracture, Dr. Azizzadeh may perform an X-ray, CT scan, or other imaging tests that provide insights into the severity of the problem.
If Dr. Azizzadeh confirms a patient is dealing with an NAO, he offers a custom treatment. Dr. Azizzadeh explains the treatment to his patient, and he explains the benefits and risks associated with it.
What Nasal Airway Obstruction Treatment Options Are Available?
Septoplasty is a commonly used nasal obstruction surgery to treat an NAO. During this nasal surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh straightens and repositions the septum. At the same time, Dr. Azizzadeh may replace nasal cartilage or bone. He may also cut or remove portions of the septum and reinsert them into the proper position.
For patients who are considering NAO treatment options, it is important to note that a septoplasty differs from a rhinoplasty procedure. Whereas a septoplasty is used to correct an NAO, a nose job is a cosmetic procedure used to enhance facial symmetry and correct birth defects. The procedure helps patients achieve a harmonious facial appearance and ensure that the nose both functions properly and is aesthetically appealing.
Dr. Azizzadeh closely evaluates his patients, so he can accurately diagnose them. He takes an in-depth approach to NAOs, and he ensures that a patient can undergo the proper treatment to correct their nasal obstruction. Dr. Azizzadeh also helps his patients maximize the results of an NAO treatment.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Nasal Obstruction Surgery?
It may take a patient a few weeks to recover from nasal obstruction surgery to correct an NAO. In the weeks following surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh recommends a patient avoid strenuous activity. Furthermore, Dr. Azizzadeh asks a patient to keep the head elevated when sleeping, avoid blowing the nose, and take other precautions to minimize the risk of complications.
The full results of nasal obstruction surgery usually become transparent within about three to six months. If patients experience any pain, discomfort, or other unwanted side effects during the recovery period or fail to achieve the full results of treatment, let Dr. Azizzadeh know. At this time, Dr. Azizzadeh can evaluate the patient and determine the best course of action.
Dr. Azizzadeh requests follow-up appointments in the weeks following a nasal surgery as well. These appointments allow Dr. Azizzadeh to track his patient’s progress after surgery. They also give the patient an opportunity to share their recovery concerns or questions.
Explore Nasal Airway Obstruction Treatment Options with Dr. Azizzadeh
An NAO can be problematic, but Dr. Azizzadeh is available to help patients treat this issue before it gets out of hand. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at 310-657-2203.