Normal respiraion is done from nose. Person should breath in and out thru the nose. If nose is not enough while making sport or running, person can use mouth for breathing.
Nasal obsrtuction is one of the most common complaints that is met. Just if you block your nose with your fingers you can understand that this symptom is a very annoying feeling.
Some people do not bother thier obstructed nose. But nose has very important tasks like cleaning and moisturing the air. It also helps smell and taste functions.
Nose is seperated into two by a wall inside of it. 80% of all people cannot breath thru their both nasal passage at the same time. This is a physiologic condition. There are dynamic structures called “chonca” in nose that swells cyclically. These structures and the nasal mucosa swell periodically thus giving chance to tissues to renew themselves. Most people are not aware of it, bu some careful people can realize it.
There are four main reasons for nasal obstruction. These can present seperately or together.
Infections: Every normal person can have 2-3 times upper respiratory infection per year. This number is more in children. Common cold is caused by many viruses. Mostly viruses pass from hands to nose and mouth. After entering the nose viruses cause edema in the tissues; viscous secretions and nasal obstruction occurs.
In this case we have to wait disease go away by itself. Only symptomatic treatment can be given like drugs opening the nose and decreasing the viscosity of the drainage. If bacterial superinfection occurs after the viral disesase especially in immune deficient people we you need to use antibiotics and you have to admit to a doctor.
Nasal obstruction and thick nasal discharges are seen in acute sinus infections. According to the sinus infected, pain is felt on the buccal place, upper teeth region, frontal region, between or behind the eyes.
Nasal obstruction, nasal and postnasal drainage are seen mostly. Pressure in the face is felt rather than headache. Polyps may associate to the chronic sinusitis. Postnasal drip can trigger asthma and chronic cough. Acute infections can be treated with antibiotics whereas chronics need to be operated.
Structural reasons: Nasal septum which is dividing the nose into two may be deviated and can cause sinusitis by impairing the nasal mucous flow. Also “choncae” that swell periodically in the nose can cause sinus problems in case of their dysfunction.
Surgery is the treatment of these anatomic problems.
Adenoids seen in children can be bigger than normal and can impair sinus functions. If the reason for nasal obstruction is adenoid in children, it can be removed by surgery.
Nasal tumors and foreign materials in the nose are also in this group. Children can insert small toys, foods, needle inside their noses. One sided drainage with bad odor is seen in these cases. Ear, nose, throat doctor should examine the child.
Allergy: It an overnormal reaction of the body to the foreign materials. Nose is an organ we mostly see these allergic reactions. If nose reacts to a substance it swells and get blocked, watery clear secretations come out and sneezing is seen. Allergic materials are very tiny substances that can be in air, foods etc. The best thing is. to stay away from these substances. Sometimes it is impossible so medical and vaccination therapy is used.
Antihistaminics, decongestants, corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers are used.
In pregnant women all these drugs should be prescribed by physicians.
Some antihistaminic drugs can cause sleepiness, therefore be careful if you are doing works need attention.
Decongestants are dangerous in people with hypertension, glaucoma, prostate, heart rythm problems.
Corticosteroids can be used intranasally, orally or with injection. These drugs should be used with upmost care under doctor observation.
Vaccines are used in some patients with different success rates.
Vasomotor rhinitis: “Rhinitis” is a medical name given to the swelling of the nasal mucosa and increase of mucous secretions.
Some people who are not allergic may have allergic symptoms because of the following reasons: Sudden change in air temperature, odor of any kind, smoke, air pollution, perfumes, anatomic problems of the nasal septum, psychologic stress, unsufficient thyroid function, some antihypertensive drugs, pregnancy, long term use of nasal decongestants.
In early periods of the disease nasal obstruction is temporary and self reversible. But if the problem is long enough to destroy the elasticity of the vessels it may be permanent even if the predisposing factor is not present anymore. Different type operations are available for treatment.