Nose & sinus
The nasal passages act together to prepare the air you breathe for delivery to your lungs, they also act as your organs of smell. The presence of a mucous membrane and a huge and a good blood supply allows the warming, humidification and the filtering of particles in the air to occur speedily and efficiently.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF NASAL BLOCKAGE?
IMPORTANT POINTS IN NASAL BLOCKAGE
A variable blockage that switches from side to side may represent the normal nasal cycle. This is the result of the alternating swelling of the nasal mucosa in each side of the nose. It is under the regulation of the nervous system. The result is nasal blockage which changes sides every 3–6 hours.
It is important to find out if the blockage happens only in specific situations. An example of this is the patient with perennial allergic rhinitis due to house dust mite allergy whose nose becomes blocked when in bed. If the patient has seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) then blockage may only occur in spring and summer. Nasal polyposis causes persistent blockage that may be made worse with alcohol.
In children enlargement of the adenoids peaks at around 4–6 years, and may cause nasal blockage and mouth breathing, often with a green nasal discharge. Itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing and nasal discharge often accompany nasal blockage in allergic rhinitis and acute viral rhinitis. The itching and sneezing are less common in non-allergic rhinitis where blockage is mainly accompanied by watery nasal discharge.
OTHER RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS
There are important associations between allergic rhinitis and asthma, and between nasal polyps and various lung disorders. All patients with nasal blockage should be asked about respiratory symptoms, especially shortness of breath, cough and wheeze.
HOW DO I FIND OUT THE CAUSE OF MY NASAL BLOCKAGE?
The doctors at My ENT Specialist are experts in the diagnosis of nasal blockage. They will take a thorough history of your nasal blockage and any associated medical problems.
The most useful investigation is a nasal endoscopy where a thin flexible camera is placed into the nose allowing us to thoroughly examine the inside of the nasal cavities and find out the cause of your blockage. This is an entirely painless procedure and is usually carried out at your first visit to our clinic.
Other tests may also be necessary; these include