About Enlarged Turbinate

The Connection to Deviated Septum

Inside your nose there is a section of bone and cartilage that separates the right side from the left, called the nasal septum. There are also small tissue masses on the side of the nose that warm and humidify the air that enters through the nose, called turbinates. Many people are familiar with a condition caused by bone and cartilage that is not straight—called a deviated septum—but not many people are aware that frequent nasal congestion could also be caused by enlarged turbinates.

When turbinates become enlarged, the nose is not able to product enough humidity and warmth for the air that you breathe in, resulting in an uncomfortable condition that causes the nose to become dry and crusty. In many cases, patients experience a deviated septum and enlarged turbinates at the same time.

What Causes the Condition

Throughout the course of a regular day, turbinates are always changing in response to the conditions outside, regulating the air that makes its way into your lungs. Sometimes particulates in the air, allergies, or other infections can cause them to become inflamed and enlarged, which results in nasal blockage and difficulty breathing. Changes in the environment such as weather and temperature changes, medications, and hormones can also affect the turbinates. In addition, as you age these tissues will become thicker, which narrows your airway in the nasal passages.

There are very few people—by some estimates as few as 1 in 5—who have a straight nasal septum. The rest of the population has a slightly deviated septum. In extreme cases, the deviation can make it difficult to breathe, and once your airways are obstructed, it can result in sinus problems and chronic infections, which can exacerbate enlarged turbinates.

Check Your Symptoms

If you are experiencing these symptoms and they are not related to a sinus infection or a common cold, talk to your doctor:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Obstructed airway and difficulty breathing
  • Alternating obstruction from the left to right nasal passages
  • Feeling of pressure around the nose and face
  • Fatigue
  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Ongoing or frequent sinus infections

Treatment Options for Enlarged Turbinate

For infrequent problems with the septum and turbinates, most doctors recommend non-surgical treatments such as avoiding exposure to things that can trigger inflammation, or taking antihistamines, corticosteroids, and decongestants when possible. However, since these only relieve symptoms and don’t treat the underlying cause, patients with chronically enlarged turbinates may require surgical intervention to reduce the size.

Turbinate reduction surgery is done through the nose, under anesthesia, and there are no external incisions. There is also a minimally invasive surgical option called radiofrequency turbinate reduction, which uses radiofrequency to strategically reduce some areas of the tissue without impacting other nearby areas. This treatment is often quicker, and involves less pain after the surgery. Studies have shown there are also fewer complications after surgery with this type of procedure.

Contact miVIP Surgery Centers

If you suffer from frequent nasal congestion and other symptoms that aren’t cleared up with traditional treatment methods, contact miVIP Surgery Centers today at 855-496-4847 to find out if this procedure could help. Our patient advocates are available to discuss your situation and schedule a free evaluation.