2121 N. Craycroft Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85712
PHONE: (520) 575-1272
FAX: (520) 575-1789
1358 W. Orange Grove Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85704
Stuffy Nose or Nasal Congestion
What are the symptoms?
Difficulty breathing through one or both sides of the nose
What’s going on behind the scenes?
The nose helps regulate the temperature and humidity of the inhaled air and reduces turbulent air flow as well. This is regulated by the normal nasal cycle through control of the nasal lining. Every 4-6 hours, one side of the nose dilates its vessels which cause the tissue to expand, reducing air flow a bit, so, it is normal to not breathe completely the same from both sides at once. In 4-6 hours, this process switches sides. Over the counter topical decongestants like Afrin, 4-way, Nostrilla, Equate disrupt this normal nasal cycle and sp should only be limited to 3 days of consecutive use. Minor illnesses are the most common causes of nasal congestion. For instance, a cold, the flu, and sinus infections can all cause stuffy noses. If it lasts longer than one week, it’s often a symptom of an underlying health issue. Some causes of long-term nasal congestion include allergies, hay fever, and chemical exposures. Another cause is structural narrowing of the nasal passages. This is often caused by a deviated septum, enlargement of the nasal turbinates, or weakness in the soft tissues of the nostril which is composed of cartilage, fat, muscle. As we age, we lose elasticity and strength of this tissue.
How Tucson ENT can help
Both techniques we use can significantly improve the nasal airway and make breathing effortless.
Sometimes, we need extra support to prevent collapse of the nostril when inhaling. In the case where one loses elasticity and strength of this tissue, a dissolvable implant like Latera can help with this.
The nostril may contain bulky tissue that narrows the airway. In these cases, thinning the tissue of the nostril with Vivaer is effective.