Airway Restriction in Tampa and Spring Hill, FL
Nasal airway obstruction is uncomfortable and annoying, forcing patients to breathe through their mouths. Blocked nasal passages make everyday activities such as eating, talking and sleeping more difficult. At Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists in Tampa and Spring Hill, our physicians know that enlarged turbinates are the causes of nasal airway obstruction in patients.
What are Nasal Turbinates?
Turbinates are mucus covered structures made of bone located in the nasal passages of the nose. Nasal turbinates are responsible for circulating, filtering and humidifying the air that you breathe. Allergies or environmental irritants are the most frequent cause of inflammation and enlargement of turbinates. Other reasons for enlarged turbinates include hormonal changes during pregnancy or anatomical defects such as a deviated septum. The size of turbinates changes throughout the day and night, depending on an individual’s head position. For example, when you lay down, the turbinates shrink slightly in size and enlarge when an individual stands.
Treatment for Nasal Airway Obstruction
Avoiding allergens or using nasal medications is often enough to relieve the symptoms caused by enlarged turbinates. Many patients require additional treatment such as Coblation®, which is designed to shrink or remove soft tissues inside the turbinates. Coblation® is an advanced technology that uses high-frequency energy along with a saline solution to alleviate the nasal obstruction. The procedure targets particular structures and preserves surrounding healthy tissue without using heating processes. In most cases, Coblation® is performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home to recover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Are Turbinates in the Nasal Passage?
A turbinate is located inside the nasal passages to divide the interior into four airways.
How Do Turbinates Affect Airway Obstruction?
Nasal airway obstruction is often due to enlarged turbinates or concha inside the nose. Congenital defects in some individuals lead to larger than normal turbinates, but the primary reason for obstruction are allergic responses that cause the nasal passages to swell due to inflammation. The result of inflammatory responses in the airways leads to difficulties with breathing. Patients may need to breathe through their mouths instead of their nose, causing a constant dry mouth and throat.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Antihistamines and nasal decongestants are a nonsurgical solution for a stuffy nose but provide temporary relief. At Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists, patients can undergo surgical procedures, including Coblation® turbinate reduction when conservative treatments are not working.
What Is Coblation®?
A Coblation® procedure uses high-frequency energy with a saline substance to create a low-temperature field that shrinks and removes soft tissue in the turbinates to reduce nasal airway obstructions.
If you find yourself breathing through your mouth or if you have a chronically dry mouth and throat, you may be experiencing the effects of airway restriction due to enlarged turbinates. Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists offers the most advanced treatment for the condition. For a personal consultation, contact our Tampa or Spring Hill office.